Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney
Advice from Our Experienced Pittsburgh Family Law Attorneys
Ending a marriage can be emotionally and mentally draining. At first, you may be overwhelmed with all the changes and decisions you will have to make. Whether you are in early stages or only contemplating a divorce, finding the right divorce attorney should be your top priority. The right divorce lawyer can help to not only ease the general stress of dissolving a marriage but can ultimately lead to a faster and less-expensive divorce. So, how do you choose the “right” attorney?
Set Divorce Goals
It is helpful to identify what you hope to achieve before choosing an attorney. Maybe you want a quick and straightforward divorce, or perhaps you already expect litigation to be unavoidable. Regardless of your anticipations, it is important to start with a divorce goal in mind. Having a goal will help you and your lawyer approach your divorce correctly.
Figure out what is important to you. After determining what you want out of divorce, you should pay attention to what you want out of a divorce attorney. You need to find a lawyer who is competent in family law, but you should also identify factors that will allow you to build a comfortable relationship with an attorney. Location, age, gender, race, cultural background, and cost may be among some of the variables you identify, but remember to keep objective factors, such as credentials and experience, in mind as well.
Divorce is not uncommon, and it is very likely that you have a friend or family member who has gone through the process. Speak with them about their experiences with the legal system, as well as which attorneys they hired and why. While referrals are an excellent source of information and insight, keep in mind that divorce is a highly personal process and their needs may not match yours.
After collecting the names of lawyers, it is time to do your research and find a proper match for your needs. The internet is a perfect tool for this task, as many attorneys have websites and basic information about themselves or their firm online. Remember to pay attention to your priorities, whether that involves cost, location, experience, culture, or gender, and narrow the list of potential counsel until you feel that you have the right attorney or firm.
Interview Potential Candidates
There are many ways this can be done, depending on both the attorney and your comfort level. You will need to reach out to the attorney or family law firm. Ask what their process is for potential clients. Many attorneys offer free consultations, whether in person or by phone, while others require a fee to set up a consultation. Ask the questions that will help you to determine if the lawyer can help you to reach your goal. Do not expect free advice during the interview phase but do look for an attorney who is responsive and supportive. Pay close attention to compatibility. Do you feel like they are trustworthy? Are they trying to sell you on their idea, or are they honest and providing helpful information?
Make Choices and Pull Your Weight
Once you have identified an attorney or firm that meets your criteria, trust that you have made the right choice and establish a productive working relationship. Your time spent finding the right attorney will be instantly wasted if you do not openly communicate and keep them updated with important information or changes.
While choosing the right divorce lawyer can be hard work, having the right legal counsel as your advocate is worth the struggle. Following this guide will help you to find an attorney that has your best interest in mind and will help to make a daunting process more manageable.
- Hillin, Taryn. "7 Steps To Choosing The Right Divorce Lawyer." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 2 Feb. 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2014 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/02/divorce-lawyer-advice_n_4661934.html>.
- Lowenstein, Michele. "How To Choose A Divorce Attorney." WIFEorg. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2014. <http://www.wife.org/lowenstein-001.htm>.
- "Selecting a Divorce Lawyer." AAML National. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2014. <http://www.aaml.org/library/publications/415/divorce-manual-client-handbook/5-selecting-divorce-lawyer>.