Across the United States, 40% to 50% of marriages end up in divorce.
The moment you receive those divorce papers, the pressure becomes unrelenting. It’s easy to make unwise decisions due to being bowed by what you are going through.
Hiring an exemplary divorce lawyer is critical as they help you make level-headed decisions. And that goes a long way to looking after your interests.
Keep reading to find out six mistakes to avoid, like the plague, when picking a divorce attorney.
1. Hiring a Relative as Your Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is expensive. At some point, many people going through a divorce might consider hiring a relative who is also an attorney. That could be a generalist attorney or a specialist.
As a rule of thumb, don’t involve any relatives (from either side) in your divorce process. No matter how well you relate with the relative you are thinking of hiring, it eliminates objectivity.
And the last thing you want when going through a divorce is to inhibit your objectivity. As it is, you’re already facing an uphill emotional battle that will take its toll on you. Why add less impartiality to that?
Instead of hiring a relative to act as your divorce lawyer, ask them for recommendations. You’ll receive leads to competent lawyers who can be objective when looking after your interest.
2. Not Interviewing an Actual Lawyer
Whenever you type ‘best divorce lawyer near me‘ on a search engine to get recommendations, you may not necessarily end up talking to a lawyer. The odds are high that you’ll initially speak to a representative.
It’s not wise to tie a hiring decision to a conversation with an intake specialist. That’s because legal services call for a personal touch, and you have to gauge the attorney you’ll work with.
Thus, on your initial call, ensure you ask to speak to the attorney. Right off the bat, you’ll have a feel of whether you want to pursue a partnership with the lawyer further or not.
Should the lawyer not be available on the phone, request an appointment to talk to them in person. If talking to the attorney is a tricky affair, you are better off moving on to the next lead.
3. Getting a Lawyer Who Never Has Time for You
Speaking of availability, you need to make your lawyer’s availability non-negotiable. If not, you’ll find you are constantly struggling to talk to your attorney.
Without prompt access to your attorney, your divorce will drag, and you won’t get the optimal outcome. From the very first interaction, you should pay close attention to this issue.
As you have the initial consultation meeting, check if the attorney pays full attention to you. Do they keep looking at their phone or email all the time? Does the consultation keep being interrupted by other clients or workers?
A lawyer who keeps allowing interruptions during your consultation is a disorganized one. And if the initial meeting is what sets a bar for futile interactions with the lawyer, you can only expect the issues to worsen after you hire them.
Of course, your attorney may not be present at every instance when last-minute issues arise during your divorce. As long as you’re not looking to enter an exclusivity agreement with them, you have to temper your expectations.
4. Unrealistic Expectations
It’s tempting to regard a lawyer as a solution to your problems during a divorce. However, unless you set moderate and realistic expectations, disappointment will color your experience.
The best means to manage your expectations is to lay out what you desire to get from your attorney during your consultation meeting. A wise attorney will have the skill to assess whether they can meet your needs and if your needs are realistic to benign with.
Setting up an initial conversation on what everyone expects from the working relationship helps both parties align. And once you are aligned with your attorney, the expectations are made clear, which helps bring focus.
5. Getting a Lawyer With the Proper Experience
A divorce lawyer specializes in family law, and that’s a wide field. Even within the divorce specialty, there are several types of divorce. Who you hire depends on the kind of divorce process you choose to use.
It’s therefore critical to only work with an attorney who has a proven track record in dealing with other devices similar to yours. But that’s not the only qualifier.
You should also hire a divorce lawyer who has experience in taking such cases to trial. If your divorce does end up going to court, you want to have the same lawyer who has been working on it to represent your interests.
Since many attorneys specialize in several types of divorce, you have to settle on what matters most. Do you want a generalist attorney who is a Swiss army knife, or do you want a specialist?
Choosing an attorney who zeroes in in cases similar to yours is best practice. Thus, if an attorney handles several types of divorce and is more skilled in other kinds of divorce than what you’re facing, you’re better off looking at other options for attorneys who’ll represent you.
6. Overlooking Your Intuition
Processing a divorce is an incredibly personal affair. Not only that, but such a process carries with it an emotional toll that’s tough to bear. Having an attorney you feel comfortable around is vital to securing gold outcomes.
During your initial interview with prospective candidates, assess how each lawyer makes you feel. Do you think they listen to you? Do you think you can trust them to handle your case?
Never overlook your gut feeling, as that places you in the unfortunate position of working with an attorney you can’t get with during one of your most challenging seasons in life.
Make the Right Decision When Picking a Divorce Attorney
When you’re facing untold pressure brought on by handling a divorce, your objectivity can dip. Without a good lawyer, you may make the wrong decisions. Thus, it pays to learn what not to do while picking a divorce attorney to make the process easier and have an expert look after your interests.
Life throws many curveballs, and divorce is one of them. Our site hosts legal advice to help you successfully navigate your divorce. Check out more of our content to learn more about what to do and mistakes to avoid so you can get a favorable outcome in your divorce.