For most people a divorce case is the most significant legal event of their life. While most people never face criminal charges or are a party in a multi-million dollar personal injury lawsuit, statistically speaking people are very likely to go through a divorce at some point in their lives.
Given its importance it goes without saying that if you are going to get divorced you want to make sure you hire the right attorney for your case.
So how do you go about finding not just a good divorce lawyer but the right divorce attorney for your divorce case? Here are what I believe are the three biggest keys to hiring the right lawyer for your case.
You Need a Divorce Attorney Who is Experienced in Divorce
While there are many good trial attorneys who handle all sorts of civil cases, you need someone who has specific experience in divorce and family law cases. Family law is a very specialized field.
A general trial lawyer who might be very good at a wide variety of civil cases but is inexperienced with divorce cases is simply not going to possess the specialized knowledge required to effectively handle a family law case. Make sure you hire an attorney with specialized knowledge and experience in family law.
Listen to What Past Clients Say About the Firm and Lawyer
Ideally you would get a referral to a divorce lawyer from a past client of the lawyer. While every case is different, a former client will be able to give you the best insight into the experience of working with the lawyer and being a client of the firm.
In those situations where you just don’t know anyone who has been through a divorce (or more likely, don’t know anyone who would recommend their divorce attorney), then you need to look for other ways to find out what past clients have to say about the lawyer.
Nowadays you can find out a lot of this information online. Google the lawyer’s name with reviews and you will likely get a long list of websites that have reviews from clients on that particular lawyer.
Listen to Your Instincts
This last one might seem a bit subjective but it is probably the most important issue of all. Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable with the lawyer that you select. Many reasonable people follow well-intentioned advice from their friends and family members to hire the meanest, toughest divorce lawyer you can find.
There are many problems with following this advice, particularly the fact that a mean lawyer is not necessarily an effective lawyer. Also, after hiring these Rambo-type attorneys, clients often discover that the lawyer is not only mean to the other side, the lawyer is mean to them. Not good.
So if you meet with a prospective lawyer and you get a feeling in the pit of your stomach that says this is not someone you want to be dealing with on an extended basis, then you should run not walk out of their office and keep looking until you find someone you are comfortable with as your divorce attorney.
I hope these tips help you as you navigate the divorce process and that you are able to resolve your case on a reasonable and fair basis.
This is a guest post by Scott Morgan, a board certified family law attorney in Texas. Scott is the founder of the Morgan Law Firm which has three offices in Texas, including the new Sugar Land office.