Preparing for divorce in Missouri and Illinois: Hiring the right attorney

Divorce lawyers may profoundly impact their clients’ cases, which is why it is vital that people take care when choosing their legal representatives.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports that there were 19,829 divorces across the state in 2014 alone. Known as a dissolution of marriage, many people choose to hire legal representation to guide them through the process of legally terminating their relationships. However, the people who divorcing spouses hire to handle their cases could have a significant impact on their outcomes. Thus, it is not advisable that people just pick a name off of a list when it comes to choosing their divorce lawyers.

Get recommendations

It is common for people who are preparing for a divorce to have family members or friends who have had similar experiences. Although they may be reluctant to share what they are going through, it is suggested that people ask their family and friends for recommendations. Others who have gone through a divorce may be able to direct them towards lawyers who they found to be compassionate and effective, or steer them away from an attorney who did not meet their expectations.

Check out potential candidates

Dissolution of marriage is often of a personal nature. Thus, after getting suggestions, people should look into the potential lawyers for themselves before making their choice. Divorcing spouses may find it helpful to research the qualifications, ethical standing and reviews from past clients of those attorneys who they are considering. This may help them determine if a legal professional is well-suited to assist them with their unique circumstances.

Take the level of service into account

It is important to hire an attorney who is communicative and diligent throughout the process. A divorce is an important matter where you want an attorney who is making sure that they are focusing thoroughly on all the details of your case. You also want your attorney to communicate with you about your options such that you are able to make informed decisions. Thus, it is important to talk with the potential candidates about the level of service you can expect if you were to hire them.

Interview the top choices

Once people have narrowed down their lists of potential attorneys, they should interview their top choices. Doing so may allow them to get a feel for each lawyers' demeanor and approach, which may be helpful in deciding who to hire. This is because, for example, Missouri law specifies that the court should divide a couple's marital assets as it deems just based on a number of factors. If people's spouses are trying to hide shared property or otherwise cheat them out of what they are entitled to, it may be helpful to have a bold attorney with trial experience. Sitting down with legal representatives before making a decision allows people to gauge whether each lawyer will act in accordance with their needs and wishes.

Making a choice for the future

The attorneys who divorcing spouses in Missouri hire may impact how their cases are resolved, and thus, their futures. Divorce lawyers may argue their clients' cases in court, negotiate on their behalf and guide them through the legal process. Therefore, it is important for people to use care when choosing an attorney to represent them in their divorces to ensure they are choosing the right legal representative.