You’re facing a divorce, and you need an attorney, but you don’t know how to find one. Lawyers have unique personalities, different legal approaches, and varying years of experience. If you use O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates’ recommended 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer; you can feel confident in your decision. So let’s take a look at the 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer.
Step 1 of the 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer is: Understand and Focus on the Goal of Divorce.
The goal of divorce is to end your marriage, divide your assets, and if you have children, decide child custody issues. It is often an emotional and frustrating experience, but don’t get side-tracked on personal pain or vengeful retaliation. Your lawyer should be understanding and sympathetic, but your lawyer can not resolve your anger or mend your broken heart. Your expectation of your lawyer should be to help you successfully through the legal process. Listen to his or her advice. Your attorney is an expert in the legal field, and you need to understand and focus on your goal of getting divorced.
Step 2 of the 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer is: Consider Mediation or Collaboration First.
Instead of the contentious traditional litigation known as divorce, you may want to consider hiring a mediator to help you negotiate your divorce agreement. Sometimes mediation can be a faster and cheaper avenue to divorce. You may also want to consider exploring a collaborative divorce where your attorney works with your spouse’s attorney, toward the goal of amicable decisions and a positive co-parenting relationship. O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates recommend that depending on your situation, you may want to discuss with your attorney pursuing these first, before a litigated trial.
Step 3 of the 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer is: Consider More than One Attorney Before Choosing
O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates point out how important it is to choose your attorney based on recommendations, research, and personal contact, rather than emotion or desperation. This is an important decision and should be made after thoughtful consideration. You want to pick a family law attorney who has experience with the divorce process you are seeking. Your attorney should communicate and negotiate on your behalf. For recommendations, you can ask friends and neighbors, and go online to look at reviews of the attorneys you are considering.
Step 4 of the 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer is: Make Your Decision on Research and Personal Contact
After you get a recommendation and have done some research on the attorney, you should call the attorney’s office. You need to ask questions about their experience, approach, and specialization within family law, specifically divorce. It’s important also to know up front what the fees are and how you will be charged. You can arrange a meeting to speak with the attorney. Most lawyers do not charge for the initial consultation. Gather all your questions to ask the attorney so that you can make an informed choice. During your interview see if the attorney is considerate, responsive, professional, experienced, and knowledgeable.
Step 5 of the 5 steps to choosing the right divorce lawyer is: Time to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer
Based on the information you’ve collected, it’s now time to make your decision. You understand your goal and your focus is to get divorced. You’ve thought about what kind of process you would like to use. You’ve gotten recommendations. You’ve done your research. You’ve interviewed potential attorneys and asked your questions. You’ve gotten an impression of how the attorney works. The attorney’s fees are within your budget. Based on all of these things, you can now move forward with the right choice for your situation.