Selecting a divorce attorney is a critical decision making process here in the South Colorado Springs area. The person who you hire will be responsible for obtaining or maintaining your custody rights to your children, your property interests, and depending upon the side you are one, either minimizing or maximizing your support rights.
In reality, selecting a divorce attorney is also an incredibly stressful experience. Do it right and you can breath easy. Do it wrong and you will spend years making up for losses that might have been prevented. Do not fear though, we are here to help you in finding your family law lawyer!
5 Tips to Help You Find a Divorce Attorney
Selecting a divorce attorney is a critical decision making process. The person who you hire will be responsible for obtaining or maintaining your custody rights to your children, your property interests, and depending upon the side you are one, either minimizing or maximizing your support rights.
In reality, selecting a divorce attorney is also an incredibly stressful experience. Do it right and you can breath easy. Do it wrong and you will spend years making up for losses that might have been prevented.
There are a few tried and true tactics that you should be using when you select a divorce attorney. Before you even begin, you need to identify the type of case that you will be involved in. Will you be mediating your divorce? Will you be negotiating? Or, will your case be one of those cases that goes to court and becomes a knock down, drag out divorce litigation?
There are divorce attorneys who specialize in these different types of cases and you need to hire the type of divorce attorney who is best suited to the type of case that you have. If you need to deal with a knock down, drag out litigation, you do not want a mediation attorney trying to protect your interests. Likewise, if you are going through mediation, the last thing you want is a divorce attorney who will try to create issues and move you towards litigation.
So, step one in the process of selecting a divorce attorney is to identify the type of case that you have. Next, start asking people for help. Since the divorce rate in the United States is at about 50%, chances are you know at least several people who have been through a divorce. Ask about their process, how they selected a divorce attorney, and how their attorney performed for them.
After you have received the names of several divorce attorneys that you received from asking other people, go online and start researching those attorneys and others. Many divorce attorneys have websites, write articles, and advertise on divorce portal websites. You can get quite a bit of information about how an attorney approaches cases and treats clients by reviewing their website.
After you have reviewed the divorce attorney websites, make a list of at least two and as many as five divorce attorneys who you think you will be comfortable speaking with. Call the offices of those divorce attorneys and schedule consultations. Some of those attorneys will charge you for a consultation; the more experience the attorney has, the more likely that you will have to pay for time with that attorney.
When you attend a consultation with a divorce attorney, be prepared. Make an outline of the history of your marriage and the problems facing you now. If you or your spouse has filed any papers in court, make sure you bring them with you. Bring one or two years tax returns or a recent financial statement so that the divorce attorney can review some of your financial data before being asked questions about "results".
Make sure you ask each divorce attorney questions about how that attorney's office operates in response to client phone calls, emails, or other inquiries or needs. If you will be working with a divorce attorney who has no other attorney in their office, be prepared to wait in line when you have a need for a response. That attorney will have other clients who have needs just as significant as yours, and an attorney can be responsive to only one client at a time. Even with that drawback, there may be a divorce attorney who you feel is just right for you who is also a solo practitioner. That is a trade off that you may have to get comfortable with.
After you have completed all of the consultations and reviewed the answers to all of your questions, decide which divorce attorney you felt most comfortable with and which one you believe will work with you to get the type of results that you want.results that you want.
Choosing A Good Divorce Attorney Can Be Difficult
A family law attorney is helpful resource when it comes to legal matters concerning familial events. These lawyers handle a variety of legal cases involving marriage, minor children, and elderly parents. Some law firms specialize in one specific field of law while others represent all types of cases.
Selecting a family law attorney should be given careful consideration. This is of particular importance when retaining lawyers to represent minor children or establish guardianship for parents suffering from conditions that limit mental capacities, such as Alzheimer's or dementia.
It can be beneficial to consult with three or more law firms to meet lawyers and staff members face-to-face. Clients often spend considerable time with legal counsel, so it can be helpful to work with an attorney whose persona puts them at ease.
Taking time to interview candidates can help clients select the most appropriate lawyer for the task at hand. It can also minimize the potential to change lawyers in the midst of the case.
There are many options available for finding a good attorney. Many people obtain referrals from family and friends. Others use lawyer referral networks or conduct online research. Some utilize telephone directories.
One common mistake people make is selecting lawyers based on the size of their phone book advertisement. It's important to realize that large ads do not necessarily equate to being the best attorney.
Lawyer referral networks are another option for locating family law attorneys. Some referral networks assess a fee while others offer complimentary services. It is rarely a necessity to pay anyone to assist in locating lawyers so proceed with caution when fees are assessed.
Once 3 or 4 law firms have been located it is time to setup an initial consultation. Law firms often provide complimentary meet-and-greet sessions, but some assess a nominal fee. Be certain to determine fees before making the appointment.
Ask to meet with all staff members who will work on the case. It is common practice for attorneys to enlist help from paralegals and administrative assistants to reduce legal fees. Clients should feel at ease with all staff members, but especially those whom they will work closely with.
It is important to establish legal fees before hiring law firms. Legal fees are usually based on the type of case involved. One-time events, such as drafting prenuptial agreements or filing legal name changes, are usually billed at a flat fee. Ongoing cases that require court appearances or extensive research are typically billed at an hourly rate.
Most lawyers require an upfront retainer fee for representing ongoing cases. This fee is usually around 25-percent of anticipated fees. Attorneys oftentimes require payment in full when services are rendered, while others send monthly invoices.
Clients that require payment plans must discuss terms ahead of time to ensure timely access to legal counsel. It is crucial to stay current with payments; otherwise, lawyers can refuse to provide legal counsel.
One way to reduce legal expenses is to always be organized and prepared for meetings. It is helpful to keep case documents organized in a dedicated file folder. Always keep record of phone conversations, face-to-face meetings, and email correspondence that take place with the family law lawyer and staff and retain copies of all documents related to the case.
How To Choose A Family Law Attorney Properly
So the time has come and you are making the big step of meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time. You are nervous, unsure, and yet excited about getting the show on the road. But the question is what are you going to talk about?
If you are looking for answers about your impending divorce, then you obviously need to have the right questions. Otherwise, you could end up spending that first hour listening to a "sales pitch" rather than getting the answers that you have been so desperately waiting for. It is crucial that you walk into that divorce attorney's office with a plan of action so that you can make the best of this opportunity. If you have to, then carry a list a questions with you, a checklist, anything that will make sure that you cover all the bases. Otherwise, you could end up to spending extra money down the road by calling and asking questions that you should have covered during that first meeting.
Here is a short list of information that you should be able to walk out of the divorce attorney's office with, and a good idea if this is the lawyer that will fighting for your best interests. Remember your financial situation and a great deal of you post-divorce life will likely depend on how hard your divorce attorney works for you.
1) What is it going to cost you? Get specifics on the attorney's fees, including whether or not he/she wants a a large retainer up front or if they will be billing you on a regular basis. You also need to get an idea of what your divorce will cost. This is just an estimate, but an experienced divorce attorney should be able to give a fairly accurate figure.
2) Get detailed information about their experience in divorce law and how long they have been working in the county that you are filing in. You will obviously want an attorney who specializes in divorce, or at the very least family law. And if he/she is new to the county, then you may want to look elsewhere. For obvious reasons, It is a great benefit to have a divorce attorney who is familiar with the judges and other lawyers in the area.
3) Find out if they tend to take a combative or cooperative approach when it comes to dealing with your spouse's attorney, and how often their divorce cases go to trial. You want this to match your style as well. If you are hoping to avoid conflict and want to "settle" your divorce quickly, you will want to be wary of combative attorneys. But on the flipside, you do not want a divorce attorney that will not fight for your rights if your divorce starts to get nasty.
4) Also, it is not unreasonable to ask what the divorce attorney thinks the outcome of your divorce will be. This includes everything, including what you should expect regarding marital property, alimony, child custody and child support. A divorce attorney that declines to give you information on this is either too inexperienced or is afraid to tell you the truth, especially if it is a type of outcome that might not work in your favor. Either way, if this happens, it may be best to look elsewhere for more experienced, straightforward divorce attorney.
Obviously, there is a lot more information that you would want to get from a divorce attorney. And you also need to be prepared to answer detailed questions from them, so that they can get a full understanding of your divorce case.