How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer
A Guide to Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Divorce
By Adam Peer - Owner of The Law Office of Adam Peer, LLC
How do you hire the right divorce attorney?
Getting a divorce can be an unsettling experience. Even a seemingly simple divorce case can present a host of legal and practical, real life complications. In view of this inherent complexity, proceeding pro se (without an attorney) is not advisable. It is almost invariably best to leave it to the professionals and hire a divorce attorney. Finding a divorce attorney is easy. Hiring the right divorce attorney, someone with the requisite experience, skill and temperament to artfully guide you through the life-changing process of a divorce at a price that will not put you into debt can be a daunting task. This blog aims to enumerate the points you should keep in mind when searching for and hiring a divorce attorney.
There are a host of factors to consider when hiring a divorce attorney. In conducting your search, keep in mind that experience, while not the only factor, is vital. A divorce lawyer can be experienced and not good at their job; however, it is exceedingly rare for a good divorce lawyer to be inexperienced. When evaluating divorce attorneys, it is important to look for someone who has relevant experience, someone who has litigated cases, negotiated and settled cases, someone who is familiar with local judges and their procedures, and who knows their way around a court room. An experienced attorney who is well versed in family and divorce law can help you through the legal hassles and complications of your divorce. Look for an experienced attorney who is adept at communicating the value of that experience. Look for someone who utilizes their experience as a path to compassion and understanding, and beware of those who have become jaded and dismissive of their clients. Prickliness can be charming, and generally is until your phone calls aren’t being returned and your attorney treats you like a child. It is YOUR case and no matter who the attorney is, you are entitled to a seat at the table. Ask how many years the attorney has been practicing. Ask how much relevant experience he or she has with cases like yours. Do not be afraid to ask questions – an attorney will only take offense if you hit on something they do not know or do not have experience with.
Divorce lawyers almost invariably charge by the hour, with a retainer upfront. In fact, in most cases it is unethical to charge a flat fee. Flat fees may be available for uncontested divorces or in the case of a limited scope representation. However, hourly fees are the industry standard. Hourly rates generally range between $200 to $500 per hour. Most divorce lawyers will charge you an initial consultation fee. This can vary, but don’t let that scare you because finding someone who can skillfully assist you in navigating the legal complications of a divorce is important. It is advisable to interview at least 2-3 attorneys before settling for one. In doing so, look for a fee structure that is a fit for you and for a fee structure that is reasonable in view of the attorney’s experience, knowledge and skill.
Testimonials of Previous Clients
One of the best tools for finding an experienced divorce lawyer is through testimonials left by previous clients. Former clients of the attorney that you are planning to hire can tell you about their experience with that specific lawyer. If you aren’t able to find previous clients of a lawyer, consider asking the lawyer. Most attorneys have a few clients that are willing to share their experience. That said, in today’s climate, if a lawyer doesn’t have any testimonials readily viewable, either on their own website or on their google page, it might be a red flag of inexperience or ineffectiveness.
Communication and Comfort
It is exceedingly important that attorney and client are able to communicate effectively. You should be at ease communicating with the divorce attorney you hire. A divorce involves sharing personal information with your lawyer, and it is absolutely vital that you are able to fully and effectively communicate with whoever you hire. Look for someone who shows you respect, someone who listens attentively, is easy to talk to and who is responsive to your needs and concerns. When you interview attorneys, make sure they make you feel comfortable and that you are able to communicate effortlessly with who you hire.
Contact The Law Office of Adam Peer for more information or to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Divorce Lawyer you can trust. Adam’s goal is to resolve your legal issues effectively, quickly and affordably. Adam will work with you directly, keep you informed, and work tirelessly to aggressively fight for and protect your interests.
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Adam Peer – Attorney at Law
The Law Office of Adam Peer, LLC