How to Pick a Missouri Divorce Lawyer
If you and your spouse have tried to save your marriage to no avail, it may be time to seek out a Missouri divorce lawyer. But if you’ve never hired an attorney before, you may not know how to find one. This article can help.
Divorce can be a very emotional time. By ending your marriage, you will divide your property and your debts, and deal with such challenging issues as who gets the home and custody of the children. An attorney by your side, guiding you through each detail, can act as your advocate and negotiate on your behalf. Do not underestimate the value of having a lawyer see you through your divorce.
You may want to take a moment to figure out what kind of Missouri divorce lawyer you need. If you and your spouse are likely to agree about the major issues of the divorce, then you don’t need a lawyer known for shrewd negotiation skills. An attorney with an easy-going disposition and a good grasp of Missouri divorce law is more what you’ll need.
On the other hand, if you believe you will have to fight your spouse on every issue of your divorce, you may want to find that attorney with a reputation for fighting hard.
Other important attributes to consider are:
- How much experience the lawyer has
- The strategy the lawyer proposes
- The fees the lawyer charges
- How confident and comfortable a lawyer makes you feel
Keep these qualities in mind as you go about searching for, interviewing and ultimately choosing a Missouri divorce attorney to represent you.
Getting Names of Missouri Divorce Lawyers
Collecting a name or two of a Missouri divorce attorney is not difficult. Consider asking your friends, family members and acquaintances who have been divorced if they were happy with their attorneys. You’ll want to find out if they can whole-heartedly recommend them. Real-world feedback can be invaluable.
If your friends do not have any referrals for you, or you’d rather not disclose the intimate details of your crumbling marriage, we have another option for you. Attorneys.com offers a service that can connect you with a divorce attorney no matter where you are in Missouri.
Give us a call at 1-877-913-7222 when you are ready. Or, you can fill out the short form on this website. We’ll have a few questions for you. Then, whether you are in Kansas City or Columbia or any other part of the state, we’ll forward the name and number of at least one Missouri divorce lawyer near you.
You may call the lawyer directly. Or the lawyer will follow up with you within two business days.
Preparing to Meet with a Missouri Divorce Lawyer
With the name of a Missouri divorce lawyer or two, it is time to take the next step: The interview. Most divorce lawyers in Missouri are willing to chat with you to introduce themselves. This first meeting is called an initial consultation.
The initial consultation may be the most important step in the hunt for an attorney. At an initial consultation, you can:
- Find out if the lawyer’s background and experience are a good match for your needs
- Discuss your options and possible strategies for handling your divorce
- Ultimately decide whether this is the attorney you want to hire
To prepare for your initial consultations, write out a list of questions you want to ask. You need to put the questions on paper and bring them with you, so you don’t forget to ask anything. Also pack some extra writing material, so you can note the answers and record any impressions you have.
Focus on questions that will help you decide whether this is the attorney for you. Questions about the attorney’s background, his advice for you and how much he charges are all good areas to explore.
Because you’ll be dividing the property – and debts – accrued during the marriage, you should also bring paperwork that documents your financial situation, such as bank account statements, credit card bills and a mortgage statement.
Make a list of everything you own, such as cars, homes, recreational vehicles, artwork and jewelry. You may eventually get everything appraised, but for the initial consultation, you can give a ball-park estimate for your belongings' value. You should also bring a copy of your prenuptial agreement if you have one.
Hiring a Missouri Divorce Lawyer
After you have concluded your last initial consultation, it’s time to choose a Missouri divorce lawyer. Think back to the qualities you have already defined as most desirable. How do the attorneys you met rate? Which had the best experience and the most insightful advice? Whose legal fees seemed reasonable? Most importantly, with which lawyer were you most comfortable?
If you’re still having a tough time deciding, call a few former clients of your top contenders and get the real scoop on what it was like to work with these attorneys. Their input should help you narrow your field down to the one best Missouri divorce lawyer for you.
After you have hired your attorney, you are ready to proceed with your divorce.