When going through a divorce it’s best if both of you have some legal counsel but having said all divorce paperwork can be carried out by just one lawyer. While you can save yourself money by doing most of the paperwork yourself its best to have an attorney look over the finished item. But whatever decision you come to there are some things you need to consider before hiring your attorney.
Firstly, why hire a divorce attorney?
If you have a contested or complex divorce it’s clear that there are many reasons why you should consult with an attorney, however what about a “simple” uncontested divorce? Even in an amicable divorce, a lawyer is helpful when it’s time to file your divorce papers. Having someone with this experience guarantees that all paperwork is filled in correctly first time. Apart from the paper work your attorney can also help guide you through other situations in the process of your divorce proceedings. On the other hand, there are a number of online divorce companies who will not offer legal advice, but will help you file your divorce for a very reasonable fee.
So what are the basics to hiring the right lawyer?
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Having a friend or family member that’s gone through a divorce before can come in very handy when looking for the right lawyer for you. Although it can be tempting to hire a friend or family member that’s a lawyer its best to go for someone that has no personal attachment to either of you. This way you any get advice or guidance you receive is totally independent and has no bias.
If you have the time, another way of “trying before buying” is to sit in on your potential lawyer in action in the courtroom. You can do this by checking court notification for when your lawyer is in a divorce hearing. It mightn’t be the nicest thing to sit in on but it can give you some idea of what your legal council is like in action.
How much divorce experience do they have?
If you needed a brain surgeon you wouldn’t go to a general doctor but someone who’s specialized in brain surgery. This is the same when picking the right lawyer for dealing with your divorce. Rather than looking for a commoner garden lawyer, you need to look at someone who has knowledge of family law or martial law. Even then you should quiz potential prospects for history of their past cases and what results they’ve achieved.
How much can you afford?
You might be tempted to put this at the top of your list when looking for the right lawyer for you, but this mightn’t always get you the best legal counsel. While you mightn’t be able to reduce your lawyers hourly fee’s you can save yourself lots of cash by doing the majority of the legwork yourself. This way they’ll have less billable hours to charge you. Most lawyers will give you their first consultation free but make sure that you have this in writing first so you don’t get surprised by any costs that you weren’t expecting.
Costs may be your principal decision between going for one lawyer over another but don’t forget that sometimes you can get what you pay for. Ask potential legal councillors if they provide a payment scheme or any other ways of reducing their costs to make things more affordable for you.
Needless to say, the more simple your divorce, the less expensive fees should be. In a very simple, uncontested and amicable divorce you could consider an online divorce service to help you simply completed and submit the required paperwork.
Are they available to talk to you?
There’s nothing as frustrating as trying to get into contact with divorce lawyer and they’re constantly in court and/or too busy to answer your calls. Ask if this will be a problem for you and how your lawyer is going to make themselves available to you. If they’re not available is there a secretary you can deal with it or can you fax or email documents for signatures. Be sure to get all the answers to these questions beforehand so you’re not left with any frustration later on.