How to Hire an Illinois Divorce Attorney
An Illinois divorce attorney can help guide you through the divorce process, but if you've never before hired a lawyer, you may not know where to start. How do you find a lawyer? And how can you tell if you've found the lawyer who's right for you? This article will demystify the process.
Hiring an Illinois divorce lawyer can take a bit more effort than hiring a handyman or a dentist. That's because you're not just looking for someone who has the necessary legal skills, but also someone whose judgment and advice you can trust.
If you have friends, family members, or co-workers who are recently divorced, you should ask them if they'd recommend their Illinois divorce attorney. Personal recommendations can be very valuable. But if you don't have anyone who can recommend an attorney or if you don't feel comfortable asking for suggestions, then you've come to the right place. Whether you live in Chicago, Springfield, Aurora, Urbana or elsewhere in Illinois, Attorneys.com can connect you with one or more Illinois divorce lawyers in your area.
To start the process, simply complete the form on this page or call us at 1-877-913-7222. After you answer a few questions, we'll connect you with at least one Illinois divorce attorney in or near your town. That attorney will contact you within two business days or you can reach out to the attorney at your convenience.
Meeting Illinois Divorce Lawyers
Before selecting an attorney, you should schedule an initial consultation. This short meeting, which may be held in person or over the phone, is your chance to get to know the attorney and to familiarize the attorney with the details of your divorce. Some attorneys will offer initial consultations for free, while others may charge a fee.
Make some written notes to prepare for your meeting. You'll want to outline the important details of your divorce. For example:
- Why do you want a divorce?
- Do you have children with your spouse and, if so, how would you like to handle the custody issues?
- What are your major assets and debts, and have you and your spouse discussed how to split them?
- Do you need alimony, or do you think your spouse will want alimony?
You should also make a list of questions that you'd like to ask the attorney to learn more about him or her. These questions may focus on topics including:
- The attorney's education and professional background
- The attorney's experience handling Illinois state divorces similar to yours
- The attorney's suggested strategy for handling your divorce
- How much the attorney charges for his or her services, and the total estimated cost of handling your divorce
Know that anything you discuss during the meeting will remain confidential, even if you ultimately end up hiring a different Illinois divorce attorney.
Selecting an Illinois Divorce Attorney
After you've met with each attorney, take some time to review your notes from each meeting. Is there one attorney who stood out from the rest? If not, try to eliminate the lawyers you do not want to hire, including those who are too expensive or those who don't have the necessary experience. Then ask yourself which attorney you felt most comfortable with. After all, you're relying not just on the attorney's legal skills, but also on their advice and good judgment. Once you've found that Illinois divorce attorney, you're ready to move forward with your divorce.