Let’s face it, getting a divorce is not easy. It is an emotional rollercoaster to put things lightly. You are either heartbroken that it’s happening, or relieved to get out of a mentally draining relationship. If the reasons leading up to the divorce are not too stressful, there’s always the dreaded talks about money and custody.
While going through a divorce, it is easy to overlook the one person who can make all of this a little less stressful – the lawyer. The list below covers the things you need to keep in mind to ensure you choose the best divorce lawyer, depending on your needs.
1. Horses for Courses
The first thing you should know is knowing really what you need out of the divorce. Based on the complexity of the situation, your options would be one of mediation, litigation, collaborative divorce or cooperative divorce. Once you zero down on one of these, your hunt for a lawyer will truly begin. Remember to find a divorce lawyer who is adept at getting people divorced using your chosen divorce process.
2. Know Your Needs
Getting a divorce includes a lot of talk about money, but you don’t have to pay a lot of money for it. Not everyone needs a lawyer who charges an exorbitant amount of money. If both parties mutually agree on most things, you can get away with a lawyer who will just take care of the paperwork. If the case involves a lot of assets with a complex financial situation, you might have to shell out a little more to make sure you don’t end up with the short end of the stick.
3. Stay Transactional
A lot of people have unreasonable expectations from their lawyers. Remember that lawyers come in the equation with very specific skillsets. They are not counsellors who can help you cope with your emotional situation. For a fee, they will do all your legal work and minimize your damages to the best of their capabilities. Nothing more, nothing less.
4. Word Of Mouth
The bad news is that a lot of people are getting divorced. The good news is that you should face no difficulties finding divorce lawyer recommendations. Try your best to ask your divorced friends and relatives whose situations were similar to yours. Ask questions regarding professionalism and negotiating skills. Making a short list based on recommendations is a good place to start.
5. Interview the lawyers
Interview at least 3 lawyers. Get a list of questions ready before you meet them. Gauge things like experience, expertise and how comfortable you feel interacting with them. Interviewing 3 lawyers will also give you an idea about their perspective on your case, and you can choose the one that you think makes the most sense.
6. The Gender Bias
In a lot of cases, wives opt for female lawyers and husbands for males. Keep in mind that getting a divorce is not a war between the sexes. Keep your gender-related assumptions aside and judge people based on their capabilities.
7. Trial Experience
Your divorce lawyer’s single focus should be to negotiate everything outside the court. But if push comes to shove, your lawyer’s courtroom experience could be one of the biggest factors deciding your fate. Ensure that the lawyer you pick comes with rich courtroom experience.
8. Local Jurisdiction
This one goes without saying. Attorneys may be licensed to practice in several provinces, with the laws being different in each province. You will benefit by opting for an attorney that is well-versed with the regulations of your area. Your lawyer’s familiarity with the local judges and officials can also have a positive impact on your case.
Think of your divorce lawyer as a negotiator and see who can get you the best deal based on the aspects mentioned above.