As a marriage starts out in euphoria, sometimes it doesn’t last and soon enters into a divorce. Around half of all marriages will fall apart and eventually file for divorce. The next step that should be considered is either obtaining a divorce attorney or attempting to file all the legal documents by yourself. There should be some careful consideration before a decision is made.
No one goes into a marriage thinking they will eventually file for a divorce. Dismally in our society, divorces have become more common and accepting than generations before. Either way, the whole family is hurt by a divorce. Emotions and strengths of character are tested during the roller coaster ride of a divorce. By having emotions and feelings being hit so hard, a person going through a divorce should not have to deal with the legal issues pertaining to their case. This era in one’s life should not be thought lightly and a divorce attorney should be hired to ease the burden. Even if you are contemplating hiring a divorce attorney, it should be considered that even lawyers will hire and delegate their own divorces to other attorneys.
Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer
Selecting a divorce lawyer to handle your family law case is a very important decision. The following are a few important criteria to help in finding the right divorce lawyer.
Experience and Focus
Any divorce lawyer you consider should have substantial experience in handling divorce cases in your location. An experienced divorce lawyer will know the tendencies of the various judges in your jurisdiction and should be able to use this knowledge to your advantage. Additionally, that lawyer should practice primarily in the field of divorce law. Often people will hire a lawyer who practices primarily in some other area, thinking that any lawyer will do. However, divorce law is a very specialized field that requires particular skills and experience in order to have a likelihood of reaching a successful conclusion.
Past Client Testimonials
Perhaps the best way to decide which divorce lawyer to use for your divorce case is to find out what former clients have to say about that lawyer. While divorce is never an enjoyable process, some divorce lawyers have more success at satisfying their clients than others. If you do not know someone who has been a client of that particular divorce lawyer, you should consider asking the lawyer for a list of clients that you can contact who can describe their experience with the lawyer. While client confidentiality is important, any good experienced divorce lawyer should have at least a few former clients who are willing to vouch for him or her.
When a client becomes dissatisfied with a divorce lawyer, one of the most common complaints is that they were unable to communicate with the lawyer. It is very important that your divorce lawyer be accessible and prompt in responding to your phone calls, emails, and requests for meetings. While you can ask the divorce lawyer about their office policy, this is another area where you can best evaluate the divorce lawyer by hearing what former clients have to say.
If a former client of the lawyer tells you that they found it very difficult to contact the attorney, or that the lawyer either did not return calls or respond to emails or would take several days to do so, you should definitely avoid that lawyer. Divorce is an unpleasant and frustrating process under the best of circumstances. If you are unable to reach your divorce attorney, or at least someone on his or her staff, the frustration level can increase exponentially.
When you make your initial appointment with the divorce attorney, you should inquire about a consultation fee. Some lawyers do brief initial consultations for free, although most experienced divorce lawyers will charge between $100.00 and $200.00 as a consultation fee, or will charge their normal hourly rate.
For example, I charge a flat $100.00 consultation fee with no additional hourly charges, regardless of the length of the meeting. Essentially, the consultation fee is to "weed out" those people who are not serious about the possibility of hiring me. Given that my normal hourly rate is $200.00/hour and the usual typical consultation takes about 90 minutes, the charge for my consultation is significantly discounted. Therefore, you shouldn't let a consultation fee scare you away from interviewing a particular lawyer.
During the consultation it is vitally important that you have a candid discussion with the prospective divorce lawyer about fees and what you can expect. Typically, an experienced divorce lawyer will require the payment of a substantial retainer up front, against which that lawyer's hourly rate and expenses will be charged. You should find out what that lawyer's hourly rate is, what the up front retainer will be, whether any portion of the retainer is refundable if it is not exhausted, and how often you can expect to receive invoices that detail their hourly charges and expenses. You also will want to know how detailed the invoices are. Once again, this is another area where you can get excellent information from those people who have been clients of that divorce lawyer.
While all the above issues are important, there is one final question you should ask yourself before hiring a divorce lawyer. Are you comfortable with that lawyer and are you confident in his or her abilities? If the answer is anything other than a resounding "yes," you should keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence
Tips for Hiring a Family Law Attorney
Advantages When Hiring a Divorce Attorney
1. Experience- Many people going through a divorce, do not have the slightest clue of the legal proceedings. A divorce attorney on the other hand will know exactly what and when to proceed with filings. Having a legal professional that has expertise in family law will be an advantage to your side. They will be able to educate and inform their clients on the particulars of divorce laws that are unique to your locality. Family law specialists will be able to offer their insight on what the outcome of the divorce will yield. There is no perfect divorce equation, but having the experience, a divorce lawyer can have a good guess on what is going to happen.
2. Local Experience- Hiring a local attorney is much better than hiring a high profile attorney that is not located in your jurisdiction. Not only will they will understand the local laws, but they will have a good impression on other lawyers, court clerks and judges who will be running your case. This is an advantage as the lawyer can predict actions of judges and anticipate other divorce attorneys moves.
3. No Emotional Bond- From the emotional toll before and during your divorce proceedings, you will become attached to certain items and intangible aspects through the divorce. A divorce attorney will not have the emotional bond to a court case that a person going through the divorce will have. There is no doubt that the legal representative will have your best interest, but he or she will not make irrational decisions based on emotions. They will rather base decisions upon fair compensation and legal practices. If a person is going through a divorce with children, these emotions are even higher, having another reason to hire a family law specialist.
4. Efficient- If a person is trying to complete their own divorce, it will take a lot of research, time and effort to understand the legal filing process, terms and procedures. If that same person is working and taking care of kids, it’s nearly impossible to complete efficiently. When hiring a divorce attorney, these tasks will be handled swiftly and professionally by your divorce lawyer.
5. Expertise- By working with the same type of clients and dealing with the legal system, a divorce lawyer has built an expertise in the family law field. Other attorneys may practice different entities of the legal system, but an attorney who deals strictly with family law and divorce, will have built their reputation and expertise in that field. Whenever hiring an attorney, always make sure they have expertise or credentials showing their skills in their field of practice.
If you are deciding whether or not to hire a divorce attorney, it will be much easier on you and your family if you do. By hiring a divorce lawyer, he/she will be giving the professionalism and experience that is needed when dwelling into the legal system. The divorce attorney be as efficient as possible with filing papers with the courts and not having the emotional bond that their clients hold onto during a divorce. Hiring an expert in the field of family law will give you an advantage and save much time and effort during a high turmoil time in your life
Good Divorce Lawyer - How to Find Them
Divorce can sometimes be the best option for a bad marriage. However, getting a divorce is not an easy task. The procedure usually involves a lot of legal complexities relating to the custody of children, property, alimony, child support, and other such issues. Letting a divorce lawyer deal with all of the messy issues is often the best choice for either party.
Divorce lawyers are usually lawyers that deal with family law. They are specialized in all areas of family matters and can provide sound legal counsel. It is usual, as well as safer, for both parties to use different divorce lawyers to deal with the proceedings. The divorce lawyer should provide excellent advice relating to the divorce proceedings, and also other matters that might surface later on.
Checking through the yellow pages will produce quite a list of all the lawyers practicing family law. However, the best kinds of divorce lawyers are most often known by word of mouth. Browsing through the Internet is another option to look for a good divorce lawyer. Many websites help their customers locate a good practicing family lawyer in a specific geographic area. Of course, locating a divorce lawyer through the state bar association is always an available method to those looking for accredited lawyers working for the government.
The first meeting with a divorce lawyer is the most important. It is very important to check for the lawyer's credentials and experience in family law cases before signing an agreement. Checking the references provided by a lawyer is a good step toward verifying his success rate. Since all the lawyers that are members of AAML or the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers are highly experienced, getting one that is a member is an added bonus.
The lawyer you select should be able to provide all the legal help that will be involved in the divorce proceedings. The current number of cases that are being handled by the lawyer will also matter. Lawyers who are bogged down with work usually do not provide enough individual attention. Your lawyer must be able to be contacted at all times, either in person, or by phone.
Another important thing to consider before hiring a divorce lawyer is the fee. This could include the consultation, case-filing fee, and the method in which the fee is likely to be charged. Generally, there are ways a lawyer might charge. The first is a flat fee. The second is normally tallied at the end of the case on an hourly basis. A good lawyer should be ready to negotiate an out of court settlement or litigations from the other parties. A signed written agreement between the lawyer and the client is always the best way to seal a pact.