Tips For Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

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Whether you’re ready to start divorce proceedings, or you still feel conflicted, consulting with a divorce attorney provides helpful insight as you consider your next move.

Choosing the right divorce lawyer for your situation is a process that requires serious consideration. If you move forward with this monumental life step, you deserve the time and freedom of deliberation to select an attorney you trust to serve you with integrity, experience, and transparency.

Especially if you’ve never hired an attorney, you may feel uncertain about how to begin. Start simply by asking for referrals and performing basic research, then meet with attorneys who seem right for you. Take your time and consider carefully before making this important decision.

Attorneys provide services to members of the general public much like accountants, mechanics, or plumbers. While friends, co-workers, or acquaintances may have used the services of a divorce attorney, each and every case is unique. People who have been in your same situation are likely willing to share some basic details and advice but it is important to remember that every case may require different attention.

Although divorce is an intensely personal event, opening yourself up to ask questions that you may be afraid to ask can yield great results. Don’t allow potential feelings of shame or embarrassment to keep you from not only finding an attorney to advocate for you but so you can also work on advocating for yourself. Being as open and transparent as possible from the start will help your attorney and their team best advocate for you. 

Beyond the Law

Like other service providers, divorce attorneys should help their clients by explaining their experience, offerings, and procedures. Read through a law firm’s website (much like this one you are on right now) to learn about the attorneys and their backgrounds; the areas of law in which the firm specializes; and its general ethos and approach to clients and the legal process. The legal process can feel overwhelming so being able to learn more about the process and terminology will likely help alleviate some of the stress. 

There are many different types of law firms focusing on certain types of cases, so look for attorneys who serve clients with your particular legal needs. Family law attorneys, for example, usually litigate issues pertaining to divorce, including child custody (now called allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time), child or spousal support, and division of assets.  An estate planning attorney can help you with planning documents such as wills, trusts, guardianships, and a power of attorney.  

Authentically helpful: Don’t fear a free divorce lawyer consultation

Free consultations are common in the legal world, and you shouldn’t be suspicious of them. Attorneys and their potential clients use these meetings to help both parties decide whether their business relationship is a good fit.

During an initial consultation, expect to spend a good amount of time with an attorney, discussing your situation and what you hope for the outcome of your case. Bring along important documents and be prepared to provide as much detail as possible. There is much value in a free consultation.

Your clarity and candor are crucial for the attorney to understand what will be necessary to manage your case in the best way possible. Your consultation is completely confidential, so you don’t have to worry about private information being revealed and the consultation doesn’t bind you into an agreement.

Talking with the attorney about your case makes up about one-half of the consultation. The other half involves you asking questions about the law practice and its attorneys. Ask about how their office operates, whether one or more attorneys will handle your case, and what’s the most efficient and affordable way to communicate with the firm.

You should feel comfortable asking the attorney to discuss their cost structure, including retainer fees and hourly fees, along with other charges you might incur during the course of your case. Keep in mind that no lawyer can know for sure how much your divorce case is going to cost as many factors influence the cost.

If you’re facing divorce, take advantage of free legal consultations before hiring an attorney. You’ll be provided with insight into the legal process while learning more about the law firms and attorneys you’re considering.

Why experience matters in family law

A free legal consultation usually gives you more confidence in selecting the attorney or law firm you want to handle your divorce, family law, or estate planning case. Trust your research, recommendations, and intuition, and choose a law firm with significant experience in divorce litigation.

Consider these questions about any law practice:

● Is the firm familiar with family court judges in my county, including their courtroom demeanor and rulings they have made in the past?

● Is the firm familiar with my spouse’s attorney, and other legal staff who may be involved in the case?

● Does the firm have a bank of local experts to help support me in my case, and in my personal life as I make this crucial transition? For example, Sterk Family Law Group, P.C. has a robust Resource Center with hundreds of professionals and organizations that can help you or your family outside of the legal realm. 

● How often does the firm take cases to trial? Are they willing to take my case to trial, if it’s necessary?

Any attorney you consult should make you fully aware of your rights, obligations, and options, and they should respect your choices while also safeguarding your best interests.

We’re Here to Help

Sterk Family Law Group has a long, solid history of fighting for our client’s legal rights while supporting their personal needs and struggles. Call us today for your free consultation at (815)-600-8950 or complete the form below:

 

This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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