Choosing the right attorney during a stressful time isn’t easy. Here are five things you should take into account before hiring…
You should shop around
You wouldn’t buy the first car you saw, so why would you do the same with a divorce attorney? You need to research several attorneys before settling on one. Research online, pop into your local citizen's advice bureau for advice and consider any personal recommendations you’ve had from friends. Meet with your top three attorneys and ask them probing questions so you can see if they meet your needs. Check all testimonials and watch out for any red flags that make you uncomfortable. Feeling at ease and trusting the attorney you’ve chosen is incredibly important. You’ll have to be completely honest about your situation, and the more comfortable you feel, the easier this will be.
You need to be able to get in touch with your attorney easily
The last thing you'll need during your divorce is an unattainable attorney when you must discuss an important part of your case. Make sure you know your attorney is easy to get hold of before beginning working with them.
Know your budget
Getting divorced is expensive, and you should know what you can afford before you begin. Take into account things such as the hourly cost of your attorney and how you’ll finance a divorce settlement. Make sure the fees of your chosen attorney are clear and as upfront as they can be. Ask them how much a case like yours has cost before – but remember no two divorces are the same. Alternatively, ask if they will undertake your divorce for a fixed fee. It’s best to have an idea of the cost before you start the process, so you know you’re getting the service you need, at a price you can afford.
The more prepared you are, the easier it will be
Before you meet with your attorney, have an idea of what you want from the divorce. Have a financial divorce settlement plan in place and wherever possible, have everything you’re likely to need for your case to hand. Being organised will make the process easier later on, as you’ll have the evidence and documents to hand, rather than having to sort them out at a later date. Being well organised from the start is likely to save you time, money and anxiety in the longer term.
An attorney is not a therapist
Divorce can be emotionally draining, and it’s important that you have support throughout the process. Your divorce attorney is there to help you achieve your goal, and come away with the best possible outcome – not to give you emotional support. You may have supportive friends and family around that can help, or you might want to consider seeking help from someone removed from the situation. Ask your GP if there is any counselling available or a suitable support group you could attend. It may save you time and money, and help you to have support from someone detached from the immediate situation.