How do you find the best divorce lawyer for you? Notice I didn’t ask how do you find the best divorce lawyer. Just like no two people are exactly alike, no two divorce cases or divorce clients are exactly alike. Finding the right divorce lawyer for you is much like choosing which car to buy or which home to purchase -one size does not fit all. The relationship between an attorney and a client is both a business relationship as well as a personal one. Most divorce attorneys can competently handle most typical divorce cases, but be sure to understand their fee structure and their experience in handling cases similar to yours. Determine whether the lawyer is a divorce attorney or an attorney who occasionally handles divorce cases. There is a huge difference between the two. Familiarity with divorce law and divorce judges can make a world of difference. Make sure you share a common approach to handling your case. This is where a breakdown in the relationship can often occur. A client may wish to take an aggressive approach, but the attorney may be predisposed to having a softer touch or wish to attempt a collaborative method to dealing with the case. Make sure during your initial consultation that you both share a common game plan for the strategy of the case.
If you don’t, you’re bound to be disappointed. Also be sure that you connect on a personal level. This is particularly important in divorce cases where attorney-client communication can be a daily occurrence. If you don’t feel that you can effectively communicate with your lawyer (who is both your advocate as well as your mouthpiece in court) then you are setting yourself up for failure. Attorneys understand this as well. During an initial consultation, I am interviewing the client as much as they are interviewing me. If I do not feel we would be a good match, then I decline the case. There is simply no point in accepting a case that I know will result in an unhappy client as well as an unhappy attorney. For a client to avoid these problems, they need to do their homework. During the initial consultation, take time to consider whether there is a good business and personal match. Talk to friends for recommendations, and research the attorneys on the internet. When researching, be sure to consider the source. Martindale-Hubbell provides attorney ratings as determined by other attorneys. AVVO offers lawyer ratings based upon a calculation of a lawyer’s experience, reputation in the community, and also provides reviews of that lawyer from former clients. Just like buying a car or a house, the more research you do when considering which lawyer to hire increases your chances of finding the best divorce lawyer for you.