If you want to file for divorce it’s important that you choose a divorce lawyer that’s right for your case. Not only will this be crucial to the outcome, it will be vital to how your case is managed from start to finish, both emotionally and financially. Here are some top tips for choosing a lawyer for divorce support.
Separating from a partner, no matter what the circumstances, impacts you emotionally. It can be incredibly stressful, which means that rational thinking tends to ‘go out the window.’ The result is that people become reactive rather than proactive and choose a divorce lawyer on impulse, desperate to end a marriage as quickly as possible.
Don’t make a decision on a divorce lawyer when you’re angry, it will more likely hurt than help your case. Hiring a divorce lawyer after a separation is not a ‘right away’ decision you need to make. It needs a level-headed you, to choose a divorce lawyer that has your best interests at heart.
With that in mind, here are Holland Family Law’s, Claire Holland’s, tops tips for getting the right support for your divorce:
1. Acknowledge that you will need to choose a divorce lawyer
If you’re certain that separating from your partner will lead to divorce, it is worth acknowledging early on that you will need a divorce lawyer.
Take the time to meet with a local lawyer, so that you can start to build a rapport with one you like, before you find yourself in a high-pressure situation where you’re filing for divorce or get served with papers by your spouse.
If you don’t, you will choose a divorce lawyer that has time to fit you in, rather than one who is the best fit.
2. Talk to trusted and respected sources
Your family and friendship circles could be a valuable resource for helping you choose a divorce lawyer. A search for “best local divorce lawyer” on Google will only help you find lawyers with the best websites, it does not mean they have the best skills. Many law firms tends to cover many areas of law and don’t necessarily specialise in divorce law.
Word of mouth is a good gauge for choosing the right lawyer for divorce support. You may know someone in your family or friendship circles who has been through a divorce within the last few years, who will know a good divorce lawyer.
Ironically, it’s not unknown for a divorcee to refer people to their spouse’s lawyer because they may have done a better job than their own at the time of their divorce.
3. Hire a family and divorce law specialist
Don’t hire a lawyer, you need a specialist in family law and divorce cases. Local family and divorce lawyers will be familiar with the judges that preside over family and divorce cases, plus they will be familiar with other divorce lawyers in the area that your spouse is likely to be working with.
A specialist family and divorce lawyer is best-placed to handle your case as they will have the relevant knowledge and experience. Plus, they will be more up to date with the latest family and divorce laws.
4. Evaluate meetings you have with lawyers
When you meet with a potential divorce lawyer to represent you, evaluate that meeting. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How did I feel about opening up to them?
- Did they make me feel intimidated?
- Did they listen well or spend the meeting telling me about other cases they’d settled?
- Did you get the impression that they would take a practical approach to your case? It’s better to hire a more expensive lawyer with a plan than a less costly lawyer with no strategy.
- Did they alert you to things you didn’t want to hear? This is actually a good sign! If a lawyer is only telling you what you want to hear, they don’t have your best interests at heart. The fact is, you need to hear the things you don’t want to, otherwise your lawyer is doing you a disservice, only to rack up their fees and generate false expectations.
5. Trust your instinct to choose a divorce lawyer
In most cases, you will choose a divorce lawyer based on your gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right after you’ve met a potential lawyer, it probably isn’t. Go with your instinct and who you feel comfortable and confident enough with to handle your case.