Warriors, you can affect the outcome of your divorce by preparing ahead of time, and selecting the appropriate attorney for your circumstances. BUT this requires some thought and planning.
Finding the right lawyer for your situation not only determines how much you’ll pay in attorney fees, but also how stressful the litigation will be for you. The last thing you want to add to your already stressful life is an attorney that you don’t trust or don’t like.
Consider these points list before hiring an attorney:
- Ask around for recommendations. Your goal is to find an effective attorney to represent you. Most likely, that will not be the cheapest one you can find. In my legal experience, the cheapest attorneys usually wind up costing their clients a lot more in the long run. Consider an attorney’s personality before you decide – it’s most important that you find one you trust.
- Don’t automatically assume that the meanest SOB lawyer in town will be best-suited for your case. Having an SOB for a lawyer can be counter-productive – sometimes they escalate situations and blow up cases for no reason other than their own egos. This will cost you in the long run so beware!
- If you want to make sure your spouse doesn’t hire the meanest SOB lawyer in town, you can do what we in the legal field call “Conflict Them Out“. This is easier if you live in a larger city than in a small town. Once you determine who the SOB lawyers are and way before you are in divorce negotiations, all you have to do is have one consultation with the SOB lawyer then not hire them. Because you have consulted them about your divorce, they now have a conflict of interest and cannot represent your spouse. This might cost you a few hundred dollars but, depending on your circumstances, it might be worth it.
- Consider the size of the law firm – sole practitioners who are good lawyers usually have a very heavy caseload. What that means to you is that your case might drag out simply because the lawyer and his staff literally don’t have the time to handle it quickly. There are only so many hours in a workday and if your lawyer has a very small firm but a large caseload, you might be fighting for attention. On the other hand, if the lawyer is in a large firm, you might get lost in the shuffle. Just pay attention and trust your intution to know which firm is right for you.
- Your lawyer’s personality will be crucial to your case. If you and your spouse are able to remain amicable, you want a lawyer who will foster that amiability while protecting your interests. It is possible for a lawyer to walk that fine line but usually these lawyers are older and more experienced.
- Having made that reference to the age of your lawyer, consider that more experienced lawyers might have less enthusiasm for your case while having more wisdom in seeing that your rights are protected. On the other hand, a younger lawyer might be more accessible and passionate yet have less wisdom. Only you can decide who will be a good fit for you.
- Finally, as with everything in life, go with your gut! Always! If you click with a lawyer, then hire that lawyer. If your gut tells you something’s not right with a lawyer or a law firm, listen to it and RUN! Trust yourself.
Your Mindset is important in hiring a lawyer too! Tell yourself: “I will easily find and hire the perfect lawyer for me” and “My lawyer is doing a great job for me”. Watch your self-talk during the process. Keep trusting your intuition.
Your lawyer is charged with protecting your rights and fighting for you. Never AND I MEAN NEVER SIGN ANY LEGAL DOCUMENT WITHOUT YOUR LAWYER REVIEWING IT FIRST.
There are times when it is expedient for both parties in a divorce case to share an attorney. It’s done all the time. Just remember that if that is the case in your situation, the lawyer is walking a fine line and you would be well-advised to spend the money to have another lawyer that you pay directly to represent only you in reviewing any documents you are signing and to advise you as to the ramifications of those documents.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I’d love to hear your experiences with divorce lawyers! Share them if you wish!
Walk on, Warriors!