How to Select a Divorce Attorney
Getting a divorce can be a traumatic and life-changing event. Your divorce attorney can help guide you through the process, advising you on the best course of action, negotiating and advocating on your behalf.
But a divorce is also filled with uncertainty. How will your property be divided? How will child custody issues be resolved? Are you entitled to spouse support, or will you be obligated to pay spousal support? The lawyer you hire will have a significant influence over how your divorce is resolved and how satisfied you are with the outcome. Because you are placing your trust and confidence in your divorce lawyer, you should take the time to make sure you hire the right attorney for you.
Your friends and family may have already offered to help you find divorce attorneys and suggested the names of some lawyers. But if you're looking for names of additional divorce attorneys who may be able to help you, then you've come to the right place. Attorneys.com can help you find a lawyer. Our service will connect you with divorce attorneys in your area.
Meeting With a Divorce Attorney
Once the lawyer contacts you, you'll want to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation. At this meeting, you'll have a chance to outline the basics of your divorce (including whether it's a fault or no-fault divorce; an overview of your assets, your spouse's assets and jointly owned assets; and basic details about any child custody issues).
This is also your opportunity to ask the divorce attorney about his or her practice and educational background, and whether he or she has experience handling cases similar to yours. You'll also want to learn more about the attorney's style and recommended strategy for handling your case. The goal of this meeting is to assess whether you would feel comfortable entrusting the attorney with your case, and whether you agree with his or her recommended course of action.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost?
During your initial consultation, you should also ask the divorce attorney how much he or she charges, and what you can reasonably expect your divorce to cost. Make sure to ask if there are additional fees or expenses that you might incur during the course of your divorce.
Most lawyers charge an hourly fee for their work. Legal fees can vary depending on a number of factors, including your geographic location, the experience of the attorney and the complexity of the legal work. Lawyers charge as little as $100 an hour in some parts of the country, but, realistically, you should be prepared to pay several hundred dollars an hour for your lawyer's time in many major metropolitan areas.
Making the Decision
After you've had the opportunity to talk to some lawyers, take some time to think about the lawyers you met and compare the fee estimates. Was there a lawyer with whom you felt particularly comfortable? This is a person you'll be entrusting to handle a significant life event, and you want to work with someone you trust.