If you and your spouse are struggling to come to conclusions about important matters during your divorce, finding a divorce lawyer becomes paramount. There are more than 1 million children whose parents divorce or separate in the United States every year. Be sure that you have peace of mind regarding money and custody decisions by finding the best lawyer for your case. Here are 5 tips that you need before hiring your lawyer.
1. Decide on a Divorce Process
There are a few different legal terms for the process of your divorce. Depending on your state of residence, you will choose between divorce mediation, litigation, and collaborative or cooperative divorce. This will differ for people depending on the length of their marriage, the child or real estate commitments within the marriage, any joint debts, and unemployment status. After you choose the process that is right for you, start your search for the right lawyer.
2. Research Several Lawyers
Even though it may be painful to spend time on your divorce, you should not choose the first lawyer you meet. Find a few different divorce or family law firms and then begin the process. Interview two or three lawyers before you decide and only continue with a lawyer if the discussion makes you feel comfortable. Be sure to ask them for referrals from other clients and their past experience with cases like yours before moving forward.
3. Look at Specialized Lawyers
You should be aware that not all lawyers are suited for divorce cases. If you have children, find a family lawyer who has worked with cases like yours before. A specialized lawyer or law firm will have more time and energy to dedicate to your case. These professionals should be sensitive to your specific needs and the needs of your children. You need someone who has proven experience defending your position and advocating for you during whichever process you choose.
4. Measure the Costs
Divorce can and will be expensive. An average divorce lawyer can charge around $350 an hour depending on your location. If you live in a city or high-income area, expect to pay more. Be realistic about your finances during the divorce process, especially because you will no longer have a dual-income household. If you do not have children, real estate, or expensive assets, spending too much time with your lawyer will be a major waste of money.
5. Prepare Your Lists
You will have a lot on your mind during this time. Prepare for your interviews with lawyers by writing down a list of questions you want the answers to. Here are some examples of what you might need to know:
- How long should my divorce process take?
- What is your specialty?
- When will you expect payment?
- How do you like to communicate?
- What is your strategy for this case?
You should also have a list of the important aspects of your case. Here are some examples of what your list might look like:
- Child support
- Legal and physical child custody
- Health and dental insurance for children
- Life insurance beneficiaries
Your lawyer should come across as professional, determined, and passionate about your case. Use your consultation to ask all your questions and be honest about your case. In divorce, no one is truly winning a case, only managing the pain. Use these tips to find a lawyer that will support you through this difficult time and endorse you successfully.