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Divorce is an extremely common event in the United States: studies estimate that as many as 50% of first marriages, 60% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages will end in legal separation. But as popular as divorce is, almost everyone who experiences it would agree that it is an extremely difficult process, making a good divorce attorney a valuable force to have on your side. Unfortunately, searches for lawyers near you will likely turn up plenty of criminal defense attorneys, drunk driving attorneys and traffic violations lawyers, but few professionals involved in this civil matter. And even when you find divorce law firms in your area, it can be difficult to determine if you should trust them to handle this delicate and important situation. However, by following the steps below, you should be able to find the right divorce attorney for your case.
The most important things you can do while looking for a divorce lawyer are to stay realistic and focused on your goal. For example, when searching for a lawyer, you likely aren’t going to find a new friend or unofficial therapist who can help you handle the high emotions you’re experiencing. Moreover, with the rates the average attorney charges, you likely don’t want to. Instead, you need a legal professional who can help you negotiate with your former spouse to reach a workable solution. Keep this in mind while you are searching, and try to find at least three potential attorneys to talk to before making a choice.
While the American judicial system can assign criminal defense attorneys to defendants, there is no such option for civil cases. This might be costlier than you might like, but it gives you the chance to select the best possible attorney for your situation. When you find potential attorneys, begin by making a phone call: ask about their experience, specialization, rates, even the type of client they usually represent. Once you find someone in your price range who seems like a good fit, schedule a meeting in person to talk about what their legal approach would be if you hired them, the resources they have available to them, and how much it would cost overall to use these resources. Because the attorney rarely handles the everyday details of a case, ask to meet the colleague that will be helping to manage the case.
Is the attorney making promises in the meeting? Are they divulging information from other cases that seems like it should have been confidential? Are they disrespectful of other attorneys or clients, their employees, or even you? Do they frequently head to trial instead of successfully negotiating in divorce cases? Consider all of these things reasons to choose a different lawyer. While there are a number of divorce attorneys who have their clients’ best interests at heart, others aren’t so reliable and should be avoided at all costs.
When it comes to handling legal problems, having a good lawyer is often paramount to your future success and happiness. But while a criminal defense attorney seeks to protect their clients from incarceration, a good divorce lawyer can help you avoid undue financial responsibility, the loss of your property, and help you maintain or gain custody of your children. Because of this, it is important to find the best possible attorney for your case. Start your search today.
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