Tips for Choosing a Divorce Lawyer
When you decide to work with a divorce attorney, it’s more than just checking the yellow pages. Neither is it just going for the one who helped you draft your will or negotiate your office lease. There are certain things you need to seriously review.
Apt Skills and Experience
“According to an old adage, “There are horses for courses.This is exactly true for lawyers too. If you already know from the start that you’re going to trial, pick an attorney who has solid courtroom experience. Many lawyers don’t.
It would also be great if the attorney you go with is familiar with your jurisdiction’s family law judges. This helps them devise a more effective legal strategy, depending on the judge who will be presiding over your case.
If you are counting on a lawyer for more than documentation, make sure you’re ready to share personal information about your life. In other words, you should feel comfortable with the lawyer who represents you.
Very importantly, you and your attorney should share a common basic philosophy and attitude toward your divorce. For example, if you prefer a calm, non-adversarial approach, don’t choose someone who usually goes for the jugular.
However, do not confuse your lawyer with your religious advisor or therapist. An attorney’s clock is running no matter if you’re calling to ask a legal question or to talk about your spouse.
If your budget is quite small, you may have to go with a relatively inexperienced attorney instead of hiring a seasoned one. As you might think, new attorneys tend to be less expensive than those who have practicing law for decades years and have solid reputations. But don’t forget that up-and-coming or novice attorneys may be willing to work a lot harder for you because they are the ones who have so much more to prove.
Family law attorneys will typically bill for their services per hour. Few will take a fixed rate based on how much time and work they think they have to devote to your case. It’s going to be really challenging to make estimates indeed, knowing that every single case is unique.
Among other factors, a lawyer’s hourly rate depends on which part of the country you’re in, as well as whether you live in a rural or urban area. Those on the East or West Coast usually pay the most. Depending on your location, the cost of a divorce attorney’s services can range from $100 an hour to over $600 an hour, excluding expenses. In the end, cost should never be the main factor for choosing a lawyer.