A divorce lawyer search or trying to picking a great divorce lawyer is not the easiest thing to do. Why? Well, even when a legal matter goes relatively smoothly, it can still get pretty stressful and tense at times. And although most legal matters are settled out of court, the vast majority of them still require some form of negotiation.
For many litigating parties, the negotiations are minimal but for others they can get very intense, heated, acrimonious and very expensive. The reality is that about half of litigants require some intervention by the courts to help move them toward settlement even if they eventually resolve their differences without having to go to trial. When it comes to predicting how difficult a case will get, I usually go by this rule of thumb, the more conflict the more likely that the case will also be contentious.
Add to the mix money to any case and you have the makings for a real mess. Or at the very least, some dicey issues that could be difficult to resolve! This is all the reason why it is absolutely essential that whomever you choose to represent you is competent and committed.
Searching For A Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust
It should also be someone you feel very comfortable with and whom you can trust. It is not enough to retain an attorney who is competent. The attorney must understand your concerns and be able to convince you that he or she can present them on your behalf. You will be making a big mistake by retaining an attorney whom you do not have absolute trust in his or her ability to do their best for you.
Your attorney is your advocate. You are retaining an attorney to advice you, negotiate for you and if necessary, represent you in court. It is extremely important that you select your attorney carefully and feel comfortable and have confidence in his or her ability to manage your case effectively.
If you anticipate that settling your case could be difficult, then it is all the more reason that your attorney has the ability to meet your special needs.
Don’t be in a rush to retain the first attorney you speak with. There is absolutely nothing wrong in interviewing more than one attorney. The attorney you retain is working for you.
Treat the process of retaining an attorney as you would if you were hiring an employee to work in your business. These are some of the things you should consider when retaining an attorney.
How many years has the attorney been in practice and does he or she specialize in this type of law?
Is the attorney in a single-person law firm or part of a larger practice?
In other words, does the attorney have other colleagues in the same area of law with he or she can consult or rely upon for back-up?
How many cases similar to yours has the attorney handled?
What were the outcomes of the cases similar to yours?
How much trial experience does the attorney have?
What is the attorney’s ratio of out of court settlements to trials?
When it comes to custody disputes, what is the attorney’s view on managing these cases?
Is the attorney knowledgeable about this type of legal matter?
What is the attorney’s view on mediation?
What is the attorney’s plan for dealing with challenging issues and what success has he/she had in those types of cases?
Is the attorney familiar with the dynamics of and implications on settling cases?
What is the attorney’s approach to managing high conflict disputes?
Has the attorney ever been disciplined by the state law society?
Aside from these issues, make sure at the outset that you discuss with the attorney his retainer requirements and fee payment schedule.
Above all, remember that it is your responsibility to give your attorney clear and direct instructions. Your attorney can only be as effective as your instructions are to him or her. If you feel ambivalent about any issues related to your case, slow down the process rather than giving your attorney mixed messages this will only lead to frustration, mis-communications and more importantly, it may result in actions that may have a profound impact on your future.
During these times it is best to work through your ambivalence with a legal consultant. Legal consultants have experience working with people going through this type of legal case. They are knowledgeable about the the process, concerns and legal dynamics the better it is for you. Legal consultants are trained in assisting people cope more effectively with the emotional roller coaster ride that often accompanies a legal lawsuits.
Attorneys are well trained in the legal aspects not are not equipped to address emotional upsets you are experiencing.