Getting a divorce is bad enough, but going into a court battle over the terms of the divorce is even worse. This is just one reason why you need a trustworthy, professional family lawyer on your side.
However, finding local family lawyers is not exactly the easiest process to understand. There are certain things you need to look for in order to get the best possible attorney on your side, not to mention all the red flags to watch out for as well.
You need to have your wits about you. Don’t make an emotional decision in a situation that’s already more complicated than it needs to be. Take a deep breath and go through the search process with a clear, focused mind.
To help you out, here are four do’s and four don’ts to follow.
What to Do when Researching Local Family Lawyers
You can’t open the yellow pages to a random attorney’s information and decide he or she is going to be your lawyer. Actually, good luck finding the yellow pages in the first place!
There’s a much better way to go about making your decision.
Check out a few ways to make the process easier on yourself.
1. Focus on Family Law
Maybe you’ve worked with an immigration lawyer before or you know an amazing worker’s compensation lawyer. Unfortunately, they can’t be much help to you when getting a divorce.
Just as there are focus areas of law for everything from auto accidents to fraud claims, there are lawyers who dedicate their practice to family law, too. For example, lawyers like the team at Spofford Law.
These are the people you should be considering. Anyone else won’t have the specific experience or the knowledge necessary to best present your case.
2. Ask About the Lawyer’s Training and Experience
Speaking of experience, make sure to get a few details about the services a family lawyer offers. Ask all of your options how long they’ve worked in family law and the kind of success they’ve had.
Although lawyers can’t disclose client information, they can tell you what their success rate is or how many divorces they’ve worked with in total. This helps you get a good idea of the kind of defense available to you.
A divorce lawyer fresh out of law school, for example, does not have the knowledge necessary to help you fight for want you want. You need someone well experienced in negotiation and court situations to give you the best results.
3. Read Reviews from Past Clients
It’s one thing to take a lawyer’s word as true, and to fact-check them by reading reviews. Definitely make the time to do the latter.
Every lawyer is going to tell you they’re the best option or the most successful. Seeing what past clients have to say, though, gives you the full picture. Reviews share the good, the bad, and everything in between.
A little bit of reading may tell you how long certain cases took to complete or the kind of attention to detail you can expect from one lawyer versus another. These are details you can’t afford to overlook.
4. Meet Your Top Options in Person
Another thing you can’t pass up is to meet in person. You can only gauge each option so well over the phone or behind a screen. Meeting in person allows you to see how comfortable you can really be with your potential lawyer.
This makes a big difference in how well the whole case goes. You need to be able to trust your lawyer. You should have confidence in them and feel yourself around them to work together well.
What Not to Do when Choosing a Lawyer
In the same way there are certain things you must do when you want to hire an attorney, there are a few things you can’t do. Avoid doing the following to help you weed out the good lawyers from the bad.
1. Go off Recommendations Alone
Maybe you know someone who recently got divorced with a good settlement. In fact, you might know a handful of divorcees. It’s good to talk to them and get their recommendations for local family lawyers.
What you can’t do, though, is to go off recommendations alone. You have to do your own research, too. This ensures you have a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into and protects your interests.
2. Forget to Confirm Fees
It’s good to protect your interests as well as your wallet. This is especially true in a divorce situation when many couples fight for finances and other assets.
The lower you can keep your attorney costs, the better. There are times when it’s good to pay more for the right value. But, you have to make sure an attorney’s rate is reasonable before moving forward with them.
3. Ignore Your Gut
You remember the in-person meeting mentioned above? You won’t feel comfortable with every option you meet. Listen to your gut.
One of the worst things you can do when looking for good divorce attorneys is ignore how you feel about each option. Don’t make your decision off a good price or great recommendations alone. You need to feel like the decision is right in your gut.
4. Fall for a Guarantee
Sometimes, a good price is too good to be true. Not to mention, there are a handful of divorce lawyers out there that will try to guarantee a good outcome for you.
There are no guarantees in a courtroom. You don’t know what kind of negotiations your ex’s lawyers are going to come up with or who the judge will favor. These are only a few of the unpredictable variables at play, making it impossible for a lawyer to give you a sure-fire solution.
How to Find a Family Lawyer Near You
As devastating as a divorce can be, it’s easier to get through with the right attorney by your side. This is your source of security when fighting for custody, assets, and more.
Although there are no guarantees, the more you follow the do’s and don’ts of finding local family lawyers above, the better off you are. Click here to start your search.