For many people, finding a divorce attorney is so time consuming that they just hire the first one they find in the phone book or online. While there is nothing wrong with this method, especially if you just need someone to check your paperwork before you file for an amicable divorce, it is definitely not recommended that you choose the first lawyer you contact.
It is very important that you make sure any attorney you talk to has experience with family law. Any attorney can file the necessary paperwork for you, but only an attorney experienced with divorce can make sure all of the important details are covered in your settlement. The experience he/she has will prove invaluable if you and your spouse cannot come to any agreement and you need to go to court to finalize your divorce.
Start your search by asking people you trust if they have ever hired a family law attorney. You can also contact your state bar association and ask for attorneys in your area. Of course, the phone book and internet are other options to find possible lawyers.
Once you have a list, call each office and ask if the attorney offers a free first consultation. Make appointments with several so you can meet in person and ask questions to find the best divorce attorney for you. Every attorney has their own way to do things and you want to be sure that your attorney’s plan matches your own.
For example, you don’t want to hire an attorney who wants to ruin your spouse’s life if you just want to get the divorce finalized and leave with your dignity. On the other hand, if your spouse has a “go get’em” attorney, you don’t want to hire one that isn’t willing to fight for what you want.
At your first meeting, ask any questions you may have such as about the cost of your divorce or what the attorney’s plan of action is. As you talk to the lawyer, notice whether he/she seems to be listening to you or just telling you what you need to do. You want someone who will listen to you and address your concerns. Notice whether you are comfortable with this person as you will be disclosing very personal details in the next several weeks.
Finding the right divorce attorney may take a little effort on your part, but with such an important document, you need to have the best person to help you. Your divorce settlement will follow you the rest of your life and you need it be the best it can be. Spend the time you need to hire the best attorney for your situation.
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