Finding the Perfect Divorce Attorney

Finding the right divorce attorney can feel like an overwhelming task. And yet it is so very important. Getting a divorce is a huge experience that affects every aspect of your life. It is worth extra time and effort on your part to find a divorce attorney who will represent you exactly the way you want/need to be represented.

As you initiate your search, ask for recommendations. Therapists, clergy, physicians and other folks who have gotten a divorce are all good sources of information.

Telephone Interview

Your first contact with a lawyer is likely to be the phone call you make to his or her office. Pay attention to the following:

  • How easy was it to contact this person? Was your phone call returned promptly? Generally you are going to want to know about this person's availability and accessibility - two vital components of the attorney/client relationship.

  • Did he/she listen to you and answer your questions?

  • Did he/she seem rushed or impatient?

  • What was the tone? Think twice about hiring someone who is cold, distracted, and/or condescending.

  • Is he/she willing to meet with you for an introductory meeting at a reduced or no fee?

Prepare for Your Appointment

Make a list of questions you want answered. This will help you make the most of your time. Never forget that the meter is usually running! A list and some forethought will also help you stay focused and on track.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is your specialty? Are you trained in family law, specifically divorce and child custody? What is your primary caseload focus?

  • How long have you been in practice?

  • What is your fee schedule? Do you offer a payment plan? What retainer do you require? What is your hourly rate? What is your cost estimate for this case?

  • Do you charge for telephone calls and/or e-mail time? If so, how much?

  • How frequently do you return phone calls?

  • How will you keep me informed regarding the progress of my case?

  • Will I primarily be working with you or an associate?

  • Do you have experience handling all types of divorce cases?

  • How do you handle disagreements when you and your client disagree?

  • What are your beliefs about marriage and divorce? Are you a parent? Are you divorced?

  • Are you comfortable settling cases rather than going to court?

  • How do you feel about litigation?

A Few Other Things to Keep in Mind
When Choosing a Lawyer

  • Don't be bullied. This person works for you. You are paying him or her to represent you.

  • You must have complete confidence in your divorce attorney. Look for someone who is competent, trustworthy and reliable. As a general rule, stay away from using attorneys who are family friends. This gets sticky really fast. In general, if you feel uneasy,find another attorney.

  • Be completely truthful. Your divorce attorney needs every shred of information to be able to adequately represent you.

  • Be prepared to hear some bad news. You want your attorney to be completely forthcoming with you, even if the news is bad.

  • You aren't hiring your divorce attorney to be your friend.

  • Never use the same attorney as your spouse.

  • If you are not satisfied that your attorney is doing the best at representing you, say so. Ask for what you need. If your attorney's work remains unsatisfactory, find a new attorney.

Want Even More Information?

Check out this EBook

From Divorce Attorney back Home