How To Select Your Divorce Attorney

Choose the lawyer that listens to you and that you have confidence in and believe you can trust.  There are many factors that can distinguish divorce attorneys and many of those factors are important, but in the end you have to feel that the attorney can give you good advice based upon years of experience, is affordable and understands your needs.

If I were choosing a divorce attorney I would want a lawyer whose practice is 100% family law.  It is easy for general practitioners to say that 50% of my practice are divorce cases, but is that really accurate?  It might even be true, except that the attorney does not handle contested cases and only takes the easy ones. 

Choose an attorney who practices in front of the judges that handle divorce cases every day because that attorney will have much better insight into how your judge thinks and analyzes cases.  This may be a difficult item for a client to “see” as you can’t touch it or feel it.  However, this is where having years of experience can make a huge difference. 

Retainer amounts and hourly fees are only part of the equation.  A lawyer who charges more may be able to do so because they are highly successful, have many clients and get good results.  Part of being a good lawyer is getting great results for clients who are on the right side of a case but also minimizing consequences to clients that are in trouble.  Knowing how and when to settle a case is a vital skill.  Will your lawyer try your case if it cannot be settled or will they refer you to another attorney when the going gets tough?

Read online reviews, but do so carefully.  Do the reviews sound authentic?  Did all of the reviews appear in three months which makes it appear that they were requested?  Recognize that most clients do not write reviews even if they believe the attorney did an excellent job.  No matter how well the attorney does for their client it was still an emotional ordeal and it is not something clients look back upon fondly, even if they were seeking the divorce.

I view my role as a divorce attorney as to try to obtain the best possible results for the client whether it is a parenting schedule, payment of child support and spousal support (or limiting the amounts for those items if I have the paying spouse), finding out the value of marital assets, keeping separate property out of the divorce pot and then dividing marital assets and marital debt.  A fair settlement will have clients finished much faster and at less expense.  However, if one person is unreasonable, then a trial may be the last and only result.