Factors to Consider When Interviewing Virginia Beach Divorce Lawyers
Before you make a hiring decision, you'll want to interview Virginia Beach divorce lawyers to find the one who's right for you and for your case. There are several factors you should consider as you conduct these interview and while making a hiring decision.
The Lawyer's Experience
For many people, their first significant exposure to the legal system is while getting a divorce. While divorce may be an intensely personal and emotional experience, it's also a legal process with many intricacies. If you've decided to hire a lawyer to help guide you through the process, you'll want to hire one with experience handling Virginia Beach divorce cases.
That's not to say you necessarily need the most experienced divorce lawyer in the area. Instead, you need to judge whether your divorce case is legally complex, and how experienced an attorney you need.
For example, if you have an uncontested Virginia Beach divorce with few assets to divide and no children, a less-experienced lawyer should be able to adeptly and competently handle your case. On the other hand, if you and your spouse can't agree on the simplest of things, you have young children, homes and a lot of assets to split, you may want to hire a more experienced lawyer.
The Lawyer's Cost
Experience is one of the primary factors that influences how much Virginia Beach divorce lawyers charge for their services. Other factors that affect cost include:
- The lawyer's reputation in the community
- Where the lawyer's office is located
- Whether the lawyer typically handles more complex divorce cases
- The overhead associated with running the attorney's office
As you talk to attorneys, don't feel shy about discussing your finances. If you have a budget, ask the lawyer if he thinks he can work within it. If he can't, then you'll have to find another lawyer or possibly think outside the box. Can you limit the scope of the lawyer's role? For example, perhaps the lawyer would be responsible for just completing the divorce petition, appearing in court and reviewing any agreements you and your spouse come up with.
The Lawyer's Proposed Strategy
Anyone who knows anyone who's been divorced knows that no two divorces are alike. Some go smoothly and the former spouses emerge friends at the end. Others are more hostile. You are in the best position to know how yours will work out, and you need a lawyer whose strategy meshes with your end goals.
As you talk to the lawyer, give him an honest assessment of your relationship with your soon-to-be ex. Do you expect a difficult divorce? You'll also want to tell him what you hope to walk away with once the divorce is complete. Do you want alimony? What assets do you want? How do you hope to see custody issues decided?
Once you've described your goals, ask the lawyer for his proposed strategy. How would he hope to help you achieve those goals?
The Lawyer's Personality & Demeanor
With the right questions, it's relatively easy to determine whether a lawyer has the experience, strategy and legal fees to handle your Virginia Beach divorce. But there's a fourth, less tangible element that you need to consider. Does the lawyer's personality mesh well with yours?
Ultimately, you want a lawyer you can trust, and one in whom you have confidence. As you meet with Virginia Beach divorce lawyers, you need to pay attention to each attorney's demeanor. Does he patiently answer your questions? Does he take the time to explain things clearly? Would you feel comfortable having him handle your case?
Choosing Among Virginia Beach Divorce Lawyers
After meeting with all of the Virginia Beach divorce lawyers you're considering for your case, it's time to select one to represent you. Think back to those qualities discussed in this article: Experience, fees, proposed strategy, and personality and demeanor. Does one lawyer stand out from the rest? Ask yourself:
- Whose experience was most appropriate for my case?
- Can I afford to hire this lawyer?
- Did the lawyer's proposed strategy fit with my goals for the divorce?
- Could I see myself comfortably working with this lawyer for months—or longer—as my divorce case proceeds?
By evaluating each lawyer on these criteria, you're sure to find the best Virginia Beach divorce lawyer for you.