If you are expecting to divorce, the experience is likely to affect your life in many ways. Whether you know the divorce is on the horizon or if you have suddenly been surprised by a divorce petition from your spouse, it’s natural to have lots of questions in this situation. The right attorney can provide invaluable guidance and ongoing support throughout a difficult divorce case, sometimes revealing opportunities their client wouldn’t have recognized on their own. Therefore, it’s vital for anyone facing an impending divorce to understand the value of reliable legal counsel and how to find the best divorce attorneys.
Your legal team can profoundly affect the outcome of your divorce and help you have a more positive experience with the divorce process. Every divorce will impose some measure of emotional distress, and every marriage involves unique dynamics. Whatever challenges you may face in divorce, you will be better prepared to meet them when you have an experienced divorce attorney representing you.
Finding Potential Divorce Lawyers in Your Area
Finding legal counsel begins with some research into your local options. Take time to look up the highest-rated divorce attorneys in your area and narrow your search based on the reviews you can read online. Be sure to check testimonials on a potential attorney’s site as well as reviews on third-party sites to get the most well-rounded view of the attorney. In addition, you should look for any patterns in past clients’ reviews that indicate the benefits or potential drawbacks of working with the attorney.
Once you have narrowed down a list of options, start looking at whether these attorneys can handle the unique issues your divorce entails. Every attorney specializes in various aspects of the law and distinct types of cases. For example, if you want to pursue alternative dispute resolution for your divorce, not all divorce attorneys offer this kind of legal service. You may also need an attorney with experience with high net worth cases.
Essential Criteria for a Divorce Attorney
After you have compiled a list of your best prospects for legal counsel in your area, you must know the criteria on which you should judge these attorneys:
- Experience. Perhaps the most crucial aspect to consider when hiring legal counsel is the attorney’s experience level, not only with practicing law but also the specific type of law to which your case pertains. You need a divorce attorney with a proven track record of successful divorce representation in your area and a keen understanding of the state laws likely to influence your case. While many new attorneys are enthusiastic and talented, there is no substitute for proven experience when hiring a lawyer.
- Availability. If you are going to hire a lawyer, it is important to know that you can contact them with questions, concerns, or updates on your case. Attorneys should maintain balanced caseloads that ensure they can address each client’s unique needs and concerns. Make sure a prospective attorney has the availability to handle your case.
- Responsiveness. A good attorney should provide you with multiple options for contacting them, and they should respond to client inquiries as swiftly as possible. Ask a potential lawyer how often you can expect to hear from them as your case unfolds.
- Strategy. Many divorce attorneys encourage their clients to explore alternative dispute resolution, streamlining their divorce cases. Others specialize in litigation and are capable of handling hotly contested divorce cases. Make sure your attorney’s areas of specialization align with your needs in your case. If you have options for resolving an aspect of your divorce, the attorney should carefully review them with you to help you make an informed decision.
Initial consultations with prospective divorce lawyers are perfect opportunities for you to assess these factors and determine whether an attorney is right for your case. Develop a list of questions specific to your case and gauge the attorney’s responses carefully. Ultimately, you should hire a divorce attorney who inspires you with the most confidence and displays the keenest understanding of the unique details of your case.
What to Expect From Your Divorce Attorney
Every divorce is unique, and you could have multiple options for resolving it. Even if you face a very contested divorce and you and your spouse cannot agree on anything, you can still take advantage of alternative dispute resolution. This could lead to substantial savings of time and money for both of you, and you could reach more agreeable terms this way than you could if a judge resolved your case.
A good divorce attorney will assess their client’s unique needs and goals, help them determine the best legal strategies available to them, and guide them through their proceedings as efficiently as possible. You should be able to rely on your legal team for assistance with evidence gathering and recovering any documentation you need to submit to the court, such as your financial disclosure statement. If you face a custody determination as an element of your divorce, your attorney can help you make a compelling case for custody.
Some divorce cases involve complex assets and other challenges that you may not know how to address. Your attorney may consult various expert witnesses to support your side of your divorce. For example, if you are fighting for custody, you may need a social worker or child psychologist to testify as to what type of custody arrangement would best suit your child’s needs. If you need to prove you have a disability that influences elements of your divorce order, your attorney may consult a medical expert to testify on your behalf.
The right attorney can provide numerous benefits as you navigate a challenging divorce, no matter what your case entails. It’s natural to have lots of questions about your rights and legal options in dissolution proceedings, and you may feel distressed or uncertain at the outset of a divorce. Securing legal counsel as soon as possible is the best thing to do in this situation, and you can count on your attorney to provide helpful advice and guidance as you prepare for your divorce to unfold. Consult a divorce attorney for help with your next steps.