It's never easy to go through with a divorce, even if you know it's the right decision. Many people put off calling an attorney to get things started because it makes the whole thing real. However, finding the right divorce lawyer early on could be the key to a faster, less expensive divorce. We offer some advice on how to go about finding the right lawyer for you so you can take this all-important step to protect yourself in your divorce.
Understand That This Is a Legal Process
Depending on your specific circumstances, you might want to get in touch with a lawyer before your partner knows you are thinking of filing for divorce. This way, you can get important legal advice that could strengthen your position throughout the process. However, even in an amicable split, you will need sound legal representation to make sure you get what you need out of the divorce. Whether your divorce is contentious or amicable, consider these factors when looking for a lawyer:
- Divorce experience. Most importantly, you want a family law practitioner who has handled many divorces. An experienced divorce attorney will also likely have connections with family counselors, financial accountants, child custody advisors, and other experts who can help you.
- Willingness to listen. Your attorney should take the time to understand what you want and don't want out of the divorce. If the divorce is amicable, you probably don't want an aggressive shark who wants to take your ex to the cleaners.
- Negotiation skill. A majority of divorce settlements are negotiated out of court. This is faster and less expensive for everyone, but you want to make sure your lawyer will assertively represent your interests.
- Honesty and candidness. The last thing you want is an attorney who treats you like your ex did—with false promises, unreachable goals, and no follow-through. Your lawyer should be realistic and totally honest with you.
- Conflicts of interest. You and your ex should not use the same lawyer or even the same law firm. You might want to avoid firms used by your ex's friends and family members as well.
While asking your friends and coworkers for recommendations is a good place to start, you should take the time to personally meet a potential lawyer before making a decision. You need to be able to trust your lawyer and work closely with them for many months, so feeling a connection is important.
Meet Attorney James Short Today
As a family lawyer who has represented both men and women in divorce, James Short is happy to meet with you to discuss your unique situation and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to get started.