Divorce involves many important issues, such as property, money, and your children. Therefore, it is essential that you hire a divorce attorney who can give you good advice and help you through what are often stressful, time-consuming, and emotional divorce proceedings.
First, you should hire a divorce attorney who specializes in family law or has handled many divorce cases. You don’t want to hire an attorney who has never filed or been involved in a divorce case, or an attorney who only handles bankruptcy cases, even if he or she is a family friend. The most knowledgeable attorney will be one who has dealt with divorce cases on a regular basis, and is familiar with the court system and judges who might be hearing your divorce case. Plus, an attorney who is familiar with divorces will be able to guide you through the often-lengthy divorce process as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Second, it is important to hire an attorney with whom you feel comfortable on a personal level, and with whom you can easily communicate. During the divorce process, you will often have to discuss sensitive and highly personal issues with your attorney, such as marital relations, debts, and your children. It will also be necessary that you communicate truthfully with your attorney about these issues. Being embarrassed or reluctant to talk to your attorney to the point that you fail to disclose certain information to him or her will not only be harmful to you in the long run, but it may negatively impact your divorce case. Therefore, you must hire an attorney with whom you can speak freely and openly.
Next, you will want to hire an attorney who has time for you. If you feel that your attorney is too busy to return your calls or meet with you, or if you must constantly talk to a secretary rather than your attorney, then you may end up feeling that your attorney is not adequately representing you in your divorce case. Make sure that your attorney takes the time to meet with you personally, and explains his or her role, as well as that of any support staff, in your divorce proceedings.
Finally, a good divorce attorney should always be on your side and acting so as to represent your best interests. Keep in mind, however, that being on your side may not always involve taking your side. Being on your side also can mean telling you when you’re being unreasonable, or telling you the bad news along with the good news. While you might not always like what your attorney has to say, you should always feel as if he or she is doing what is best for you.
Now that you know what to look for in a divorce attorney, you might ask how to find such an attorney. The best way to find a good attorney is to ask – your friends, your family members, and your co-workers. You also can and should interview prospective divorce attorneys. By doing this, you’ll have the chance to personally meet with different attorneys and get an explanation as to how each attorney might treat you and your divorce case.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.