Have you or your spouse decided that it's time to get a divorce? The following tips will help you pick the right attorney for you.
- Use an attorney who specializes in family law and practices in the county where you will be filing. You may have a family friend who is an attorney or be able to find a generalist who costs less; however, it's in your best interest to work with someone who specializes in the field and knows the judges/magistrates in your county.
- Ask for referrals. Do you have an attorney that you used for your estate planning or an accountant who does your taxes? Ask them for referrals. Consider asking family and/or friends if you are comfortable. Just keep in mind that everyone's situation is different so just because a particular attorney was a good fit for that person does not mean he/she is a good fit for your situation. I always maintain a list of people who I feel comfortable working with in my local area, if you need a referral.
- Interview at least three attorneys. The person you choose will be helping you through a very difficult transition and you want to make sure that you feel comfortable working with them. Not all family law attorneys are trained in all divorce processes. Some specialize in litigation while others prefer alternative approaches to litigation. Additionally, fees very widely and you'll want to be clear on how you will be charged.
Remember, give yourself time to make the decision that is right for you. If you are not feeling strong enough emotionally, you may consider speaking to a mental health professional prior to selecting an attorney. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to save money on your divorce is to have professionals work with you in their area of expertise (i.e. paying a mental health professional can be much more beneficial and less expense than crying to your attorney and let's face it, divorce can be a very emotional time).