You or your spouse have decided it's time to end the marriage and divorce. Your natural inclination may be to find the toughest, most aggressive attorney, the pitbull attorney, to fight for everything you think you're entitled to, but this could be a big mistake and, in this video, I will tell you why.
Who you hire as an attorney in your divorce may be the most critical decision you make. Make the wrong decision, and it can cost you not only valuable rights, but thousands in unnecessary legal fees. For many, other than maybe purchasing their home or preparing a will, this is the first time they are hiring an attorney, and it is, unfortunately, their introduction to the legal system.
Hire an attorney who practices divorce or family law
When you do hire an attorney, hire an attorney who practices divorce and family law. Resist the temptation to hire your uncle, the real estate attorney. The laws surrounding divorce are complicated and ever-changing. An experienced divorce lawyer will have the skills to not only deal with financial issues, like disposing of the marital home, distributing bank accounts, pensions, and investments but will also have the skillset to resolve the emotional and psychological issues present in a child custody case.
You should understand that most cases, even the most contentious of the litigated cases, will eventually settle. Even in that small minority of cases that are actually tried, most of the issues in the case are actually settled. For instance, you may not be able to agree on spousal maintenance, alimony or the amount of child support to be paid, but you can resolve the issues of child custody, who the children are going to live with or who is going to make decisions for the children. The question is, how do you get to a resolution?
You Have Choices in the Divorce Process
Understand you have choices. You can attempt to negotiate. You can mediate. You can attempt to resolve the case collaboratively, or you can litigate or, for the most part, any combination of these methods. You want to hire an attorney with all of these skillsets.
Avoid the Pitbull Divorce Attorney
The old adage is if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail. The pitbull attorney generally only has one tool in his or her toolbox, aggressive litigation. And that pit bull will run up a lot of a whole lot of time, billable time that you are paying for, while he or she aggressively litigates without necessarily leading to a resolution.
Use the Consultation with Divorce Attorney Wisely
When you do meet with the attorneys, make good use of the consultation. Make sure you express your fears and your concerns. Ask questions. After the consultation, ask yourself, "Did the attorney listened to me? Did he or she understand my needs and my goals?" Did you walk away from the meeting with a possible legal strategy or an understanding of the likely outcome of your case? You should know this going in.
After your meeting, check out your attorney. Did the online reviews online confirm your feelings about this attorney?
Are You Hiring the Divorce Attorney or The Associate?
And finally, understand who it is you are hiring. If you are hiring a big firm, understand the attorney you meet with may not necessarily be handling your case. Your case will be handled by a younger, perhaps less experienced attorney.
If you're considering divorce, you have divorce or family law questions, contact me. I'll be glad to help you.