Choosing the right contested divorce attorney is an important, yet difficult task. Make the right decision by following these 7 tips.
Did you know that there are more than 60,000 practices around the country that offer family law and divorce law assistance? Together, these firms generate over $11 billion in revenue each year in the United States alone. They employ more than 71,000 people that help people manage difficult legal situations related to their families.
That means that there are a lot of different options to choose from when you need a contested divorce attorney.
You may find it easy to find a long list of potential contested divorce attorneys to work with. On the other hand, it might be more difficult to sort through all of those options and figure out which one is right for you.
This whole selection process can be stressful because of how high the stakes are. Finding the right contested divorce attorney can have an enormous impact on your case.
Read on to learn all about the most vital steps to take to help you find the right contested divorce attorney for you!
What Is a Contested Divorce?
Before you start finding a lawyer to help you, it is important to understand the different types of divorce. Depending on whether you are looking at contested vs uncontested divorce, the right lawyer for your situation will be different.
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on the terms of their separation and divorce. On the other hand, in a contested divorce, the parties are unable to come to an agreement. As a result, they need to rely on the legal system to determine the terms of their divorce for them.
In such cases, it is vital that both parties have a contested divorce lawyer to help them fight for the terms that matter most to them.
1. Consider Different Divorce Attorney Options
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should take the time to consider a variety of contested divorce attorneys. Some people jump straight to hiring whichever contested divorce attorney they come across first. However, you don’t want to roll the dice on something as important as your choice of which lawyer will represent you.
When you consider more options, you increase the chance that one of those options will do amazing work for you. That is one reason it is so important to start your divorce attorney selection process sooner rather than later. Giving yourself the time to consider your options will make it easier to hire an attorney who can help you win your case.
The good news is that it is easy to find a long list of divorce attorney options. A few quick searches on a popular search engine can provide you with more candidates than you may know what to do with. But how can you make it easier to sort through all of these options?
2. Decide on Your Budget
One of the most powerful ways to simplify your selection process is by determining your budget. You can spend hours investigating attorneys without coming to a definite conclusion. However, if you know that you can only pay a certain amount for your attorney, then you can save time by not researching any attorney who costs more than that.
At the same time, it is important to be careful when you set your budget number. If you are not firm in your decision, you might be tempted to move your budget number over and over again. That can add a lot of stress to this difficult time while also costing you more than you can afford.
If at all possible, decide to be firm about your budget number. That way, you don’t even need to take the time to consider offers from attorneys who might charge more.
However, it is also vital that you get as clear as possible about the costs of your divorce attorney options. As you speak with divorce attorneys, ask them about their main rate as well as any other fees they might charge. You might discover that some lawyers cost a lot more than their main fee alone might indicate.
This can also give you a hint as to which divorce attorney might be right for you. If you find a lawyer who hides their total costs in a list of hidden fees, you might want to focus on other options instead.
3. Get Advice During a Contested Divorce in Maryland
Another way to shorten your divorce attorney selection process is to focus on quality rather than quality. Although it is easy to find lots of options with search engines, you might be able to create a shorter list of higher-quality candidates.
If you know someone who has had experience with divorce attorneys, their insight and perspective might go a long way toward helping you find the right lawyer for you. Consider reaching out to them and sharing what you are looking for.
You can also ask them how they decided to hire their own lawyer. If you are lucky, they might even be able to recommend their contested divorce attorney for you.
As you speak with this person, consider asking them about potential pitfalls you can avoid as well. If they can tell you about certain divorce attorney candidates that might not be right for you, that can make it easier to narrow down your options.
4. Look for a Lawyer With Relevant Experience
You might have trouble telling which lawyer will do a better job for you just by speaking with them. However, you can look at their past experience to help decide which lawyer may be the most skilled. As a general rule, lawyers with more experience will tend to do a better job.
However, it is vital that you distinguish between general experience and relevant experience. Many people don’t realize that lawyers often work in multiple areas of the law at the same time. You might find that your divorce attorney is also a traffic lawyer and a tax lawyer.
That can be fine as long as they have dedicated a lot of time to divorce cases in particular.
You will also want to distinguish between experience with uncontested and contested divorce. Even if a lawyer has 20 years of experience working with divorce cases, it may not be relevant if most of those cases were uncontested. Instead, you will want to find a lawyer who has managed many contested divorce situations for their clients.
5. Find an Attorney With a Strong Track Record
Of course, you will also want to make sure to hire a contested divorce attorney who has succeeded for their clients. Once you have found which of your divorce attorney candidates have the most experience, ask them about their track records as well. The best lawyers out there will often have extremely impressive accomplishments.
If you can find a contested divorce attorney who has satisfied almost all of their clients, there is a good chance that they will be able to achieve good results for you as well.
6. Look for a Firm You Can Get Along With
In general, it is often more important to focus on results than things like how easy it is to get along with someone. At the same time, going through a divorce can be a difficult time. If at all possible, it can be helpful to work with a lawyer who can help you manage your stress and help you feel at ease as well.
You will also want to find a law firm that is as easy to work with as possible. When you get in touch with different law firms, write down how easy they are to contact.
Try to hire a lawyer from a firm that is easy to reach, responsive, and friendly.
7. Consider Divorce Attorneys With Great Reviews
Great contested divorce attorneys tend to accrue a long list of positive ratings and reviews as well. You can look at overall ratings to help you decide which contested divorce lawyers you should research the most.
If an attorney you were considering has a lot of negative ratings, you might want to focus on learning more about other candidates. You can read through the reviews of some of your top candidates to get a better sense of whether or not you have found the right lawyer for you.
Know How to Choose a Great Contested Divorce Attorney
Almost nothing will affect the outcome of your case as much as which contested divorce attorney you decide to work with. That is why it is worth putting in some extra time and effort to make sure that you are satisfied with your selection process. In the long run, hiring the right divorce attorney is an investment that will pay for itself many times over.
To learn more about how you can find the best contested divorce attorney for your legal situation, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!