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If you’re going through a divorce or separation, you likely know that you stand a better chance of achieving a beneficial settlement if you work with a lawyer. But not just any lawyer: just as a drunk driving attorney is best suited for a DUI/DWI case, your case needs a family law lawyer to help negotiate child support, custody, property disagreements and more. But how can you tell if a divorce attorney is the right legal attorneyto work with your case? Follow these three steps to help you identify potential family law attorneys and decide whether or not they are the right fit for you.
If your divorce is amicable and civil, you and your former spouse might benefit from simply hiring a mediator to help you negotiate an effective solution for your family and other affairs. However, if the situation is more challenging, you will likely need to work with a divorce lawyer. In this case, think about the issues that your attorney will need to work with, from child custody agreements to divisions of property. Make a list of the services you need and use it to help you find lawyers in your area who offer them to begin identifying potential candidates.
Search online for family law legal firms, and ask friends and family members about legal services in the area they trust; preferably, these people will have been through a divorce themselves, or you might end up with recommendations for tax lawyers or drunk driving attorneys. Use online reviews, company websites, and personal recommendations to choose at least three potential law firms you feel would help you in your case. A good candidate should be experienced, well-reputed, and local enough to be familiar with the court system in your area.
Narrow your choices with an initial phone call to eliminate firms that are too expensive or too busy; after all, at least 50% of marriages are expected to fail, with 46,523 divorces filed each week in the United States, and many practices might not have the time to dedicate to a new client. When you find an attorney that will fit your budget, can take on your case, and otherwise meets your needs, ask for a free, in-person consultation. During this meeting, keep an eye out for red flags: if they talk about high profile clients and divulge confidential information, for example, or are repeatedly distracted by phone calls and emails, don’t hire them. The average divorce takes about a year to complete: you don’t want to waste that time on someone not worthy of your trust or too busy to pay proper attention to your case. Whether you’re hiring a drunk driving attorney, criminal defense attorney or simply a divorce lawyer, you want to be sure you’re working with someone who can help you and your case. By following the three steps above, you can be sure that the divorce attorney you hire will be able to help you with your case. From there, you can turn to the matter at hand: divorcing your spouse and preparing for your new life.
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