Going through a divorce can be a challenging time. You may be experiencing a flurry of emotions and possibly anxiety about what will happen from this point onwards. The thought of change can be daunting and intimidating, and the last thing you want to think about is the paperwork and legal procedures that lie ahead. To ensure you do not experience any more stress in addition to what you are going through, you will need to seek the best divorce attorney to help you.
The question of how to find a divorce lawyer can be a major dilemma for anyone going through a divorce. However, it will also be a critical decision and likely the first thing you have to decide to deal with the situation. A good divorce attorney can effectively help you go through each step of the divorce process and guide you with the legal requirements.
Why It Matters to Choose the Right Lawyer
When it comes to handling a divorce case, you are not just looking for an attorney but also the best divorce attorney. Whoever you end up hiring will be in charge of making sure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible, so it is important that you have someone skilled and knowledgeable to help you out. The problem, however, is how you can find the best lawyer for your case.
Divorce lawyers may be specialized in the whole field of divorce, but even so, each of them has their unique strengths. Some may be more well-versed with financial issues and complications, whereas others may be better at handling emotional conflicts. The key to having a smooth experience ultimately boils down to finding the right divorce lawyer to take up your case.
Tips on Selecting a Divorce Lawyer
Here are some tips on selecting the right divorce lawyer. After going through these, you will get a better idea of how to find a good lawyer. These points can help you browse through your options and meet up with various lawyers to find the best one.
Do Not Always Choose the First One You Contact
It can be tempting to say yes and hire the first attorney you contact, but doing this deters you from finding the best divorce attorney. After all, how can you say that you have met the best if you only chose to contact one? It can be time-consuming having to tell your story again and again, but doing this gives you a better idea of how different lawyers may handle your case with different perspectives.
Interview at Least Two or Three Lawyers
In relation to what was earlier mentioned about not choosing the first lawyer you call, it is highly advisable that you interview at least two or three before making your decision. Set up an appointment to meet each of your candidates individually, get to know more about them, and plan to handle your case. From there, you should get a better grasp of who you want to hire.
Decide on a Budget
From the very start, you must already have an idea of how much you are willing to spend on legal services, essentially your budget. Each attorney can have a different fee structure, with some working with firms and others working individually. Think about what you hope to achieve by hiring an attorney and deciding on a price you can afford. Doing this early can save you much time once you get into the selection process.
While the price may seem like an obvious factor to consider, it is one that can easily be forgotten. Once you start looking for an attorney, you might overlook this factor, so make sure you think about it before you do. You want to hire the best you can find, but you also have to be realistic about how much you are willing to spend.
Talk to People With Experience
Going through a divorce can take a toll on you emotionally, so try to talk with people who have been through it. Ask them about how the process went, whether they can recommend any divorce attorneys, and just about anything that can help you get through the change. You may be able to get sound advice on how you can find the best divorce attorney, as well as ways to cope with emotions if you are struggling with that.
Find a Local Attorney
As much as possible, try to find an attorney from a local jurisdiction. You can check out your bar association’s legal referral service, such as the American Bar Association’s lawyer referral directory, to help you with this. It should contain a list of local bar associations that you can use to find a lawyer practicing in your area.
Getting a local attorney is important to ensure that your lawyer understands your state’s laws and knows how the trials work. When you get to your search, the first way to narrow down your options is to choose the firms in your area. From there, you can narrow your list further by looking into each lawyer’s specialization.
Prepare Interview Questions
Before meeting with any lawyer, prepare a list of questions to ask divorce attorneys. You likely have a ton of things you want to ask, but once you meet face-to-face, it can be easy to forget about all of them. It will also be normal to feel nervous and overwhelmed about the process, both of which can easily make you lose your focus.
Remember that there are no wrong questions to ask, so feel free to think of as many as you can. Use that time as an opportunity to know how long an attorney has been working in the field, how many similar cases they have dealt with, what their specializations are, how much experience they have in the court, and the like.
Try to Level Your Emotions
Sitting down to tell your story to a divorce attorney can be emotionally draining, but try to stay level-headed and control your emotions before meeting with any lawyer. Otherwise, you may find it hard to come up with anything coherent.
If you find it hard not to get emotional about telling your story, consider bringing a friend or family member to join you in your meeting. This person can help fill you in on details that the lawyer mentioned that you might have missed.
The best divorce attorney is not only someone who has the skill to take on your case, but also someone who has the time to work on it. You may hire the most qualified lawyer for your divorce, but if he or she is always busy, the process will only stretch out much longer. However, the challenging part is that lawyers will not usually admit this fact so straightforwardly, so you may have to take up some cues to get an answer.
For example, try to see if a lawyer has full attention on listening to you during your meeting. If they are constantly interrupted by phone calls and asking to be excused, that could be a warning sign of how busy they are. After your first meeting, you can also try calling after work hours to see how long it takes to get a response. Doing this should give you a good idea of how responsive a lawyer is.
Trust Your Gut Instincts
When selecting an attorney, you have to use your head and be rational about your decision. However, if you ever have that nagging feeling from your gut, it would also be best to listen to it. If, say, you get a bad vibe or feeling after meeting up with the lawyer, then he or she is most likely not the right choice for you.
Whatever happens, listen to your gut. Logic will undoubtedly be important in your decision, but your feelings may also be communicating something to you. At the end of the day, you want to find a lawyer who you are comfortable with since you will be working together. There are several divorce lawyers out there, so do not feel discouraged if you do not get a good impression immediately.
Look for Courtroom Experience
Divorce cases proceed differently based on the cause. Collaborative divorce, for instance, does not involve going to court. Other cases, however, may require this, so it will be important to find an attorney who has ample courtroom experience. Dealing with a divorce conflict in court is different from handling an amicable case, so you need an attorney who knows how to navigate this and has proper court experience.
The idea of finding a divorce attorney may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, what with all the stress you may be experiencing from the divorce. However, it is something that you should take seriously. Your attorney will guide, advise, and help you throughout the entire divorce process, so choosing the best one can help make the experience as smooth as possible.
Contact a Knoxville Divorce Attorney for help and to arrange a consultation at our office.