A divorce lawyer can provide invaluable legal guidance, protect your rights, and advocate for your best interests throughout the divorce process.
Getting a divorce is seldom simple or straightforward. Instead, it’s the rare experience in life that mixes strong emotions with complex logistics and a protracted legal process. Even amicable (uncontested) divorces, where a couple agrees on parenting arrangements and asset division, can still be a long and sometimes bumpy road to travel.
This isn’t to say it’s the wrong move. For the vast majority of divorcing couples, the decision comes on the heels of a long period of “knowing” – the culmination of small or significant events, lifestyle changes, and/or disparate growth trajectories that arrive at an impasse. We bring up the complexities and difficulties of divorce not to discourage the choice, but to underscore the importance of a good divorce lawyer.
Quality divorce lawyers, like those at family law boutique Tailor Law, make a world of difference. If you’re in the nascent stages of the divorce process (or simply haven’t found the right lawyer yet), consider the qualities below that make an exemplary divorce lawyer.
How to Choose The Right Divorce Lawyer?
When looking for a divorce lawyer, there are several key factors to consider. Divorce proceedings can be emotionally and legally complex, so finding the right lawyer is essential. Here are some important things to look for in a divorce lawyer.
1Credentials and Specialization
Imagine a checklist with all the criteria you should have for a divorce lawyer; at the top should be the most basic criteria – credentials and specialization.
At the bare minimum, your divorce lawyer will have passed the bar admissions examination and hold the appropriate certifications/credentials to practice in your region. However, while that certainly qualifies them to offer counsel in your case, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the correct fit.
Instead, it’s recommended that you seek counsel from a qualified family lawyer specializing in divorce. Further, you may seek counsel experienced in divorces for men or women (who face different issues), as the case may be.
2A Compassionate, Empathetic Presence
Unlike in films, a “shark mentality” rarely works cleanly. It often exacerbates existing issues, kickstarting back-and-forth mudslinging that can mire the entire process. Worse, it further places a wedge in families eager to return to – if not traditional love – then at least a familial love based on civility and cooperation.
It’s better to find a divorce lawyer committed to compassion and empathy in addition to advocacy. Look for lawyers who take a “holistic approach” to divorce law. Holistic divorce lawyers take into account the emotional and mental complexities of the changing family dynamics, as well as the financial and legal aspects.
3A Collaborative Approach
Collaboration is the bedrock of all quality legal services. After all, you are not a passive voice in these proceedings; it’s your life, your family, your assets and future.
Find a divorce lawyer comfortable with collaboration. This collaborative approach should be a two-way street. The attorneys should let you in on the process, sharing their work, reasoning and intentions. And they should be open and amenable to you sharing your thoughts, intentions, hopes and apprehensions.
4Reviews and Testimonials
Let’s say you’ve followed the criteria above and created a shortlist of credentialed, specialized, compassionate and collaborative law firms. The last thing you can do before making a choice is peruse reviews and testimonials.
Do you see clients in familiar situations (e.g., a contested divorce with custody disputes) leaving positive reviews? If so, this may tell you that the lawyer(s) in question are client-focused and fluent with your type of case.
5Compatibility and Strategy
Divorce proceedings can be lengthy, so it’s important to have a lawyer you feel comfortable working with. Trust and rapport with your lawyer are vital, as you will need to share personal and sensitive information. Choose a lawyer who shows empathy, understands your goals, and respects your wishes.
Discuss the lawyer’s approach to divorce cases. They should have a clear strategy tailored to your unique situation and goals. Assess whether their approach aligns with your expectations. Some divorces require a more collaborative or mediation-based approach, while others may require aggressive representation in court.
6Communication and Resources
Look for a lawyer who listens to your concerns, communicates clearly, and promptly responds to your queries. Accessibility and availability are also important factors to ensure that your lawyer can provide the attention your case requires.
Determine if the lawyer has a team or access to resources that can assist with your case. Complex divorces often involve financial matters, child custody, or property division, so having a lawyer with the necessary support can be advantageous.
A quality divorce lawyer helps you cut through the emotional, mental and logistical complexities of this challenging process. Finding the right one for you is a critical step in your life’s next chapter, easing the transition fairly and efficiently.
By considering these factors, you can increase your chances of finding a divorce lawyer who will protect your interests and guide you through the divorce process effectively