How to Choose an Oregon Divorce Attorney
Ending a marriage can be an emotional process, so it is important to exercise care in hiring an Oregon divorce attorney to help you navigate the court system and settle the matter. This article will explain how to find and choose a divorce lawyer.
Unearthing a Few Good Divorce Lawyers
The first step toward finding an Oregon divorce attorney is to find some possible candidates. Ask people you know if they’ve ever used a divorce lawyer. Personal recommendations are valuable because they can provide insight into how a lawyer works with clients. If you get personal recommendations, ask about the pros and cons of working with the divorce lawyer they recommend. Did they charge fair rates? Would they hire the lawyer again?
If you feel more comfortable finding a lawyer on your own, or would simply like to interview a few more lawyers, check out the web. Attorneys.com can provide you the name of at least one Oregon divorce attorney in your area. Simply fill out the form, or call 1-877-913-7222 to begin the process.
Answer some questions and we will provide you with the name and contact information of a divorce attorney in your area. You can call the lawyer directly, or the lawyer will be in touch within two business days.
Preparing for the Initial Consultation
After compiling a short list of Oregon divorce attorneys, schedule initial consultations with each of them. Initial consultations are preliminary meetings to decide whether to hire a lawyer. During the meeting, you can discuss your divorce and how it should be handled, and learn more about the lawyer's background and legal fees. Most lawyers do not charge for this meeting, but be safe and ask when scheduling an appointment.
You'll want to spend some time preparing for your initial consultation. Write down a list of questions to ask the divorce lawyer. Focus your questions on topics that will help you decide if the lawyer is the right person to handle your divorce case.
Question the lawyer about his experience to make sure he has the right skills. This includes where he attended law school and the number of years he’s been practicing divorce law in Oregon.
The lawyer will want to assess your case. Ask questions about his suggested strategy for your divorce proceeding. Tell him to provide you with potential outcomes to your case. Ask him to describe the process for filing for divorce in Oregon.
Include questions that will help you understand how the lawyer will handle your case. Will the lawyer represent you, or will he pass the case off to another member of his legal team? Ask how you will be kept updated during the divorce proceeding. Ask what’s the best way to reach the lawyer.
Inquire about the lawyer’s billing rates. Ask what the charges include and if there are any additional fees that you must pay for. Then get the information in writing.
Before the initial consultation, you should also gather any relevant documents that could help the lawyer better assess your case. These include:
- Tax returns
- Mortgage statements
- Pension plan information
- Bank statements
- Investment statements
- Pay stubs for you and your spouse
- Paperwork on any other sources of income
If you have children, bring documents that reflect child rearing costs. These include:
- Child care costs
- Health insurance
- School expenses
Lastly, bring writing materials to the consultation to take notes.
Qualities to Look for in an Oregon Divorce Lawyer
Whether you live in Portland, Eugene or Salem, the lawyer you ultimately hire should have experience dealing with an Oregon divorce proceeding. The attorney will know the Oregon divorce court system and can help you file the proper paperwork.
If children are involved, the lawyer will know how to establish child custody and child support payments. The lawyer can also help you obtain spousal support, if needed.
The lawyer you ultimately hire should be able to devise a good legal strategy to handle your case. Plus he should charge reasonable rates.
Most important, you need to feel comfortable working with the lawyer. You will have to divulge a lot of personal information to the lawyer you hire.
Choosing an Oregon Divorce Attorney
After you’ve finished your initial consultations, review the lawyers' qualifications to determine which lawyer is the best fit. Look at each lawyers’ proposed strategy for handling your case. Assess their case management style. Factor in how much they charge. Gauge your comfort level with each lawyer.
If you’re undecided about whom to hire, call to ask for references. Getting a second opinion on the lawyers could help you choose one.
The final step is to select an Oregon divorce attorney and hire him. Then let the divorce proceeding begin.