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5 Key Considerations Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney

Divorce is never easy, even when both sides are willing to amicably split the assets. Regretfully, this is often not the case. People spend years fighting with their exes over money and property, and if kids are involved the process can get particularly nasty. A good divorce attorney will be your most important ally and biggest emotional support during this process, and hiring the right one is the most important decision you will have to make. There are literally thousands of options, from the largest, most prestigious firms to the private practices that advertise on late night television. How can you cut through all of the noise and find the right match for your needs? Here are five key considerations before hiring a divorce attorney.

First of all, you’ve got to find a divorce attorney with the experience to see your case through to success. You should never hire a general counsel for this work. There are whole firms that specialize in marriage law, and by choosing one of these attorneys you’ll know you’ve got someone who has seen every possibility and handled all sorts of obstacles. A divorce specialist will know the judges in your region, and will take their temperaments under consideration. There will be no surprises when you have a divorce professional.

It is also crucial that you see all of that experience translate into winning cases. That is why you should look into testimonials from any attorney’s previous clients. The people you are considering should be willing to put you in touch with the principal parties from past cases, so you can get more information about the working relationship. If former clients who survived messy divorces sing an attorney’s praises, chances are he’s a good fit for your needs.

Of course, you and your case won’t be like anything that attorney handled prior. So you have to make sure that you personally get along with your divorce attorney, and enjoy open, easy communication. If you don’t feel free to share everything with that person, the good, the bad and the ugly, they won’t be able to properly represent your interests. Your attorney should be easy to get a hold of, quick to respond back to phone messages or emails, and be willing to meet you in person when necessary.

This is all well and good, but if you cannot afford that divorce attorney it will all be for naught. You’ll have to consider the attorney’s fee structure carefully before entering any sort of contract. When you’re talking to various attorneys trying to find the right fit, ask about a free initial consultation. At most you should pay no more than $200 for that first meeting, during which you’ll feel each other out and the attorney will pitch you on their services.

Finally, make sure you and your attorney agree on your expectations. You must enter the process with eyes wide open, and a good divorce attorney will do his best to make sure you get the result you are looking for. However, they shouldn’t agree to just any result, no matter how far-reaching. Check out, to see how a professional firm handles these issues. The goal is an expectation that is grounded in reality, but also forces the divorce attorney to work his hardest for everything you are entitled to. It may not be easy, but if it is possible it should be on the list.