If you are about to go through a divorce, then hiring a good divorce attorney is a must. Divorce can be complicated no matter which state you live in. There are numerous documents that should be filed with the petition, including a host of financial disclosures. If the divorce is largely uncontested and the spouses agree to the terms of the divorce, then a good lawyer may not be necessary. However, if the divorce is complicated with child custody and asset division battles ahead, then you will need a good, experienced lawyer. Here is how you should go about hiring a good divorce lawyer:
Understand the Difference between “Divorce” Lawyer and Family Lawyer
Certain general practice attorneys may present themselves as divorce lawyers. However, when you have a large divorce case ahead, you should hire a lawyer that specializes in divorce cases. If there are minor children involved, then an attorney that specializes in family law will be necessary. Family law is a legal sub-field that deals with issues like child custody, international custody, and guardianship. You will need a good family law specialist to negotiate child custody. When hiring a divorce lawyer, make sure you hire from the county where you file for the divorce. Counties have various and slightly differing rules with regards to how the filing proceeds. So, if you are filing for divorce in Scottsdale County, hire a divorce lawyer in Scottsdale who would know about all these rules.
Avoid Lawyers that Discourage Mediation
Some lawyers only encourage confronting the spouse in front of a judge. If everything is relegated to the courtroom, then you will have to spend more time and money for the proceedings. Successful divorces are in part courtroom drama, but mostly negotiations. Divorce should always involve mediation, which is less costly than sorting out problems in the courtroom. Therefore, don’t ever hire a lawyer that discourages mediation or collaborating with the other spouse. It will only cost you more in terms of stress and money.
The Lawyer Should Honestly Disclose Costs
The divorce attorney you hire should be able to honestly present a cost profile for the case. You should be able to discuss ways to keep costs down with the lawyer. If the attorney demands high fees without much explanation, then that’s a red flag that you should avoid this lawyer. Some lawyers claim to be the top divorce lawyer in the area and charge exorbitant amounts. Be aware that hiring such a lawyer may inflate the cost of your divorce unnecessarily.
Of course, your case will not be the only case the lawyer handles. However, you should be able to reach your lawyer via phone or by message the majority of the time. If you call your lawyer and he or she doesn’t pick up, the lawyer should return your call as soon as they are available. Such communication and accessibility is important to the success of your case.
You can also seek recommendations from friends or family who may have hired divorce lawyers in the past. If you don’t like the lawyer you hire, you will have to fire him or her and start the process again.