Are you looking to learn how to find a divorce lawyer? If you’re looking to find a family lawyer for divorce and child custody, click to learn more.
It’s never easy to undergo a divorce. There’s a lot of stress and hurt feelings that swirl around during this tumultuous time.
Marriages end in divorce for many reasons. The top reasons for divorce are infidelity, lack of communication, and financial troubles. Whatever your reasons for seeking a divorce, you’ll need to know how to find a divorce lawyer that’s right for you.
This ordeal is even more stressful and difficult when children are involved. Then the question of who gets custody after the split must be resolved.
Finding the best possible divorce lawyer for your case not only means securing your fair share of assets, but also ensuring the safety and happiness of your child.
In this guide, we’ll explore all the factors to consider during your search for a family lawyer who deals in divorce and child custody.
What Type of Lawyer Do You Need?
If you’re getting a divorce, you’ll need an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer who practices immigration law isn’t going to know the nuances of a divorce case.
The different fields of law, like immigration or medical malpractice, have different rules. An attorney in immigration law has skill sets tailored to that practice. A divorce lawyer will have a deep understanding of the nuances of family law.
Can You Share a Lawyer With Your Former Spouse?
Not only would this be a terrible idea, but it’s also against the code of conduct rules governing attorneys.
If an attorney could represent both spouses in a divorce, there would be a huge conflict of interest. Considering your rights, interests, and needs are in conflict with your spouse, an attorney representing both couldn’t possibly give both sides a fair conclusion.
You want your attorney to give you ethical and trustworthy legal advice. It’s possible to use a single lawyer to draw up divorce paperwork, but that lawyer still represents only one of you.
If your spouse has hired a lawyer for said divorce paperwork, it’s imperative you begin your search for an attorney before signing anything. Your attorney will be able to advise you about your rights and ensure you don’t sign anything that might damage your divorce case.
How to Find a Divorce Lawyer
It’s hard to cope with a divorce when life is already full of difficulties as-is. Divorce can bleed over into other aspects of your life and have a negative impact, such as your work ethic.
That’s why you need to find a divorce lawyer who will help you resolve the case as fast as possible. Here are some of our top tips on how to find a good divorce lawyer:
1. Know the End Goals for Your Divorce
There’s a lot to decide upon during a divorce. You’ll need to figure out who gets ownership of the residence you shared with your spouse, for example. Belongings like home furnishings and cars will also need to be divided.
If you have pets, this is another aspect to consider and decide on. You’ll need to know if you want all the pets or maybe just one of them.
Children are the most important part of your life to take into consideration. If your spouse is abusive or absent often, then you’ll need to decide whether you want full custody with no visitation rights.
If you do want sole custody of your children, then there’s the question of how many children support your former spouse should pay. Trying to navigate all of this alone is tough. That’s why you need a divorce lawyer to help advise you.
2. Pay a Visit to a Law Firm
There are almost always at least a couple of law firms in any town or city. Research what law firms are near you and then pay them a visit.
You can often get a consultation if you’re a walk-in, as this shows a higher level of interest and commitment to the attorney.
3. Ask Around With Friends and Family
Never underestimate how much information you have at your disposal through your friends and family. They are a wealth of information.
Ask everyone you know if they know a divorce attorney. Be specific in your questions and make sure any lawyer you hear of specializes in both divorce cases and child custody. Not all lawyers will take on a case if child custody is involved.
4. The Internet Is a Huge Resource
It cannot be understated how much information you can find online yourself nowadays. Search for testimonials on the attorney you’re considering.
Just like how over 70% of people read no fewer than four reviews before deciding to trust a business, you should use the same approach with finding a lawyer that’s a good fit for you.
5. Know Your Personal Finances
It’s no secret that legal fees can add up to astronomical costs. Take a look at your budget and decide what price range you can afford.
The most expensive lawyer around isn’t always the best option. Don’t let a massive fee trick you into thinking that means your case is a sure-win.
Once you have a grasp on what you can afford, start looking for a divorce lawyer that’s within your price range.
6. Ask Your State’s Bar Association
It’s required by law that every attorney register with the state’s bar association to practice law in that specific state. This is because every state has slight variations in its laws.
You can call a bar association near you, and they’ll give you information. They can provide a full list of attorneys in your area and give details like their success rate.
Once you have this list of names, you can then get on the internet and do your own independent research. Be sure to call multiple lawyers to interview them and ask if they give consultations.
7. The Yellow Pages Still Exist
Though it’s hard to believe now that seemingly everyone has a cellphone and landlines are becoming obsolete, the Yellow Pages are still around.
Most lawyers still use a traditional landline for their office. Search through the directory and collect information from attorney listings there.
8. Classifieds of a Newspaper
Many lawyers will often advertise in the classifieds section of a newspaper. Buy all the various local newspapers in your area and see if any divorce lawyers are in the listing.
9. Ask Your Insurance for a Referral
It might sound a little odd, but your insurance company will know lawyers from various specialized fields. Give your insurance agent a call and see if they can give you a referral.
10. Martindale-Hubbell or Nolo Lawyer Directory
There are two online lawyer directories: the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and the Nolo Lawyer Director. Both contain the names and information of many attorneys in the United States.
If you have access to the internet, get on the directory, and search for a divorce attorney in your area. Once you narrow down a selection, call each one and vet them for yourself.
How Do You Determine If a Lawyer Is a Right Fit?
Once you’ve exhausted every resource at your disposal and gathered a list of prospective lawyers to hire, you’ll need to start the tedious process of interviewing them.
If it helps, look at the interviews from the angle of if people were applying to work for you. It’s important you like your attorney and feel comfortable speaking with them. You don’t want any uncomfortable friction between you and your lawyer that could spill over and have a negative impact on the case.
Ask the attorney about their experience. How many years have they been practicing law? Have they handled a case similar to yours before? Did they win or lose? You want to be confident in the abilities of your lawyer.
Also, take into consideration your personality, your spouse’s demeanor, and the case as a whole.
If both you and your spouse are in agreement with settling the divorce as fast as possible and outside of court, then you’ll want a lawyer who is good with collaboration and has a track record of settling cases without a courtroom battle.
Watch out for Sharks
An attorney who is quick to promise they can get you anything you want out of your divorce settlement should raise a red flag for you.
Look for a lawyer who listens to the details of your case and gives an honest assessment. Some lawyers are proud of their “bulldog approach” and are eager to pick fights with the opposing side. If you’re looking for a fast resolution to your divorce, choose an attorney who will work to resolve the disagreements of your case with efficiency in mind.
Choose the Best Lawyer for You
Getting a divorce is often an occasion filled with lots of anger, sadness, and uncertainty. Navigating the subtle complexities of family law shouldn’t be tackled alone.
If you find yourself in the middle of a divorce, knowing how to find a divorce lawyer that will align with your wants and needs is important. Don’t settle for the first attorney you come across.
At Scott M. Brown & Associates, we have a team of accomplished attorneys who will be happy to discuss your legal options. Contact us today for a consultation.