Selecting a divorce lawyer to handle your case is a very important decision. The following are a few criteria for use in helping to decide on the right attorney.
Any divorce lawyer you consider should have substantial experience in handling divorce cases. Your lawyer should practice primarily (preferably exclusively) in the field of family law. Often people will hire a lawyer who practices primarily in some other area, thinking that any lawyer will do. However, family 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 Reviews
Perhaps the best way to decide which divorce lawyer to use for your case is to find out what former clients 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 that has been a client of that particular divorce lawyer then take a look at that lawyers reviews. You can find our reviews online in many locations, especially google and avvo.
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 to describe their office policy in this area, this is another topic where you can best evaluate the divorce lawyer by hearing what former clients have to say.
It is vitally important that you have a candid discussion with any 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 upfront 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 the hourly charges and expenses. You also will want to know how detailed and clear the invoices will be. Once again, this is an area where you can get good insight from past client reviews.
Comfortable with the 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.
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