Do you need a divorce attorney but you’re not quite sure where to begin? Selecting an appropriate and qualified attorney can be crucial to the outcome of your divorce case. Here are some useful tips for selecting a divorce attorney that’s right for you and your situation.
Determine what type of attorney you will need. Do you have children? If so, you’ll want to select an attorney that specializes in family law or child custody issues. Do you own a home, have assets and investments, debt, etc.? Depending on your financial situation, you may need to select an attorney that is experienced in financial law. Also, consider how aggressive an attorney you might need. Does your spouse already have an aggressive attorney? You may need an attorney that can match that. Do you have an amicable relationship with your spouse? Perhaps an attorney skilled at mediation, who can negotiate a divorce decree suitable for both parties, might be right for you. If your spouse is abusive, you may need to find an attorney that specializes women’s rights or domestic violence. If you live in the state of Utah, the Utah State Bar directory offers a useful search tool, whereby you can search for attorneys based upon their area of expertise, location, etc.: https://services.utahbar.org/Member-Directory
Don’t wait until the last minute. If your situation permits, begin looking for an attorney early. Give yourself plenty of time to research and select an attorney with which you feel comfortable. Waiting until the last minute may result in choosing an attorney that may not be satisfactory to you.
Ask for recommendations. Asking people you know and trust for good divorce lawyer recommendations is a good place to start. You might begin by asking friends or family members who have recently gone through the divorce process. Therapists, financial advisors, CPAs, or other attorneys can usually refer you to reputable divorce lawyers as well. Be sure to ask several questions about the attorney that someone is recommending so that you can determine whether or not their experience or character is suitable for you and your situation – just because someone else had a good experience with a divorce attorney does not always mean they will be a good fit for you. Consider your own needs and/or your family’s needs.’
Be thorough. Before your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer, prepare several questions that you would like to ask them. You may want to ask them questions about their approach in settling a case, how long they’ve been practicing law (specifically divorce law), how much they charge (initial retainer fee, hourly fee, flat fee, etc.), what percentage of cases they have settled, do they have any particular areas of expertise (child custody issues, financial law, domestic violence, etc.), and any other questions that might pertain to you and your situation.
Think it through. After you have met with one or more attorneys, compare each of them. Consider their answers to the questions you asked them. Ask yourself whether or not you feel they would be suitable for you. Don’t be afraid to take your time while thinking it over. This is an important decision – after all, this is your life and your family.
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