In Marriage Story, a film about a divorcing couple, Charlie (played by Adam Driver) fires his first lawyer to hire a more aggressive attorney.
For some viewers, this is the right decision. After all, if your ex hires a shark type attorney, why wouldn’t you hire someone equally cutthroat? And yet the film suggests that Charlie should have stayed with Bert Spitz, the easy-going, empathetic lawyer.
Now, if you’re in the same situation, you don’t need to wonder if you’re hiring the right attorney. Here, we’ll talk about how you can hire the best divorce lawyer who can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Hiring the Best Divorce Lawyer: 4 Tips to Keep in Mind
The type of divorce lawyer you hire will depend on certain factors. These include your budget, the particulars of your case, the lawyer’s credentials, and their personality.
That being said, let’s discuss each one in detail, so you’ll have a starting point for evaluating divorce lawyers in your area.
Crunch the Numbers
There’s no point in hiring a top divorce attorney if you’ll end up broke in the process.
Remember, the decisions you make during your divorce could have lasting effects on you and your family, especially if children are involved. Try to be logical and think about the costs instead of getting blinded by your desire to win.
So from the very start, understand how the attorneys you are thinking of hiring charge their clients. Do they offer a flat rate, or do they bill by the hour? You should also make sure that all fees will be in writing, so you don’t get nasty surprises when you get your final bill.
How Complicated Is Your Case?
With an amicable divorce, the process is quicker, which means you can expect to pay less in legal fees. But if your divorce involves a spouse who doesn’t want to cooperate, is vindictive, or prone to retaliating, you need an attorney who has loads of experience navigating such cases.
If you already have a shortlist of potential lawyers, perhaps from your online research or as recommended by family and friends, don’t forget to check how they handled cases similar to yours.
C is for Credentials
To hire a divorce lawyer or any other attorney for that matter, you need to check their biography, background, and work history.
Peruse their website, see which areas they specialize in (e.g., child custody, property division, etc.), and the organizations they belong to.
Make Sure They’re the Right Fit
You’ve done the math, given the complexity of your case, and you’ve also double-checked their credentials. What now?
After conducting interviews, you should have some idea about which lawyer best suits your personality. Getting a divorce is a personal matter, so you need someone you can talk to honestly, and will have your best interests at heart.
For many, that means opting to hire compassionate divorce attorneys, who will carefully explain all the options available to you (i.e., mediation, collaborative divorces, and so on) instead of those whose only strategy is to push for litigation.
Ready to Hire a Divorce Attorney?
Now that you have some idea about what to consider when looking for the best divorce lawyer, don’t stop here.
There are plenty of resources online that can advise you on how to hire a divorce lawyer. You can also check out our other posts for more tips and advice on handling your divorce.