How to Hire a Divorce Lawyer in 8 Simple Steps
Divorce can be an extremely complicated process that you’ll need to hire a divorce lawyer to help you with. At first, the thought of hiring a divorce lawyer may seem like something only the rich and famous can afford, but in reality, there are plenty of cheap divorce lawyers out there who are more than willing to help you with all your legal needs during this difficult time in your life. Here are 8 simple steps to help you find and hire the best divorce lawyer out there to help you get through this process as smoothly as possible.
Prepare for the Divorce Process
The first step is to think about what you actually want from your divorce and write it down. This helps crystallize your own thoughts and figure out what’s most important for you. It also makes sure that if you go into negotiations with your spouse, you won’t forget anything essential.
Figuring out what is most important (and why) will help guide all of your decisions during divorce proceedings. An attorney can help, too. Use websites like Super Lawyers or Martindale Hubbell Law Directory to research divorce lawyers in your area and ask around for recommendations from friends and family members who’ve been through a divorce or similar situation.
Find an Attorney
At his or her core, every divorce attorney is an entrepreneur. This means that you have to be realistic about your budget—because as anyone with business sense will tell you, it’s all about margins. In fact, if we rephrased our title and said How To Hire An Affordable Divorce Lawyer that probably wouldn’t attract nearly as many clicks.
It also means not getting carried away with your emotions. Any half-decent lawyer will make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for – so don’t let yourself be rushed into signing up for extras counseling sessions? mediation? until you know what they cost and whether they are even need.
If you do get stuck on price, remember that there are ways of cutting corners without jeopardizing your position. For example, some lawyers offer pay as you go packages where you only pay for their services when they are actually being used. That way, if things settle down early on in proceedings then you won’t end up paying out unnecessarily. And remember: any good lawyer should be able to give an estimate of how much everything will cost at each stage of proceedings before taking on your case – so ask them!
Set your Budget
Divorce lawyers cost money. It’s as simple as that. The higher your budget, and/or more complex your case, generally, you’ll want to spend more on legal counsel. As a general rule of thumb, be prepared to spend $1,000 – $2,500 for an uncontested divorce filing if no children are involved (i.e., no-fault divorce).
For those with children especially any with special needs divorce lawyers fees can quickly reach over $5,000. The best advice is to set aside some money before starting your search so you don’t end up feeling desperate or unhappy with whomever you decide on hiring.
Determine if you need Legal Assistance
Before you decide to hire an attorney, make sure that you need legal assistance. If your case is relatively straightforward or involves only a small amount of money, you might be able to handle it on your own. Also, remember that hiring an attorney doesn’t mean that you’ll win only they know how they can help your specific case succeed.
Keep track of all relevant information: One of the most important things when it comes to hiring and working with an attorney is making sure that everyone involved has all of their facts straight and organized. Whether you’re representing yourself or have hired someone else, keep track of everything related to your case so that you don’t miss anything.
And if there are certain details about which people may not agree, take notes during meetings and discussions so there won’t be any confusion later on. Determine what type of lawyer you need: There are many different types of lawyers out there, each specializing in a different area of law.
For example, if you’re going through a divorce, it’s best to find someone who specializes in family law. Get recommendations from friends/family/colleagues: It’s always smart to get multiple opinions before deciding who will represent you during difficult times like these.
Evaluate an Attorney’s Experience
Once you’ve found a few potential candidates, look them up on Google and check their websites. Find out how long they’ve been practicing law and ask yourself if their experience matches your needs. The right lawyer for one client might not be right for another, so make sure you know what you’re looking for before meeting with any prospective lawyers.
It’s also important to note that hiring an attorney is an investment in your future: most lawyers will bill clients by the hour, so it’s smart to find someone who can get you off on a fixed fee you don’t want to end up spending more than necessary.
Most lawyers will provide free initial consultations where you can discuss your case without having to commit to anything further. Take advantage of these opportunities and use them as a chance to interview attorneys face-to-face before making a decision about which ones you’d like to work with. If possible, try scheduling interviews during times when both spouses are available; doing so allows everyone involved to have input in selecting an attorney.
Search Online Reviews
If you’re hiring a divorce lawyer, start with online reviews. Read what people have said about previous cases they’ve worked on, and get an idea of which ones are worth getting in touch with. It can be incredibly useful to have someone tell you straight up whether or not your case is going to make it through court otherwise, you’ll need to come up with some other way of figuring that out.
Check sites like Avvo and Google+ Local for general information about lawyers, but also check out sites like The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (AIFL), where lawyers share information about themselves and past cases. If possible, also try to look up sample cases similar to yours. when your spouse served?
Even though it might seem daunting, you’ll feel better if you get advice and help from family and friends. People have different experiences and will be able to recommend an attorney they’ve heard good things about. Another option is to contact your state’s bar association; they often have referrals for reputable lawyers.
In addition, there are online legal directories that can point you in the right direction. Using these resources will give you more insight into what attorneys specialize in certain areas of law as well as their fees so that you can narrow down your list accordingly. With your homework completed, interview each lawyer before making your final choice.
Create a Timeline
When you begin talking with divorce lawyers, they’ll often ask how soon you need their services. It may be tempting to say yesterday, but don’t panic. But if you have time on your side, take it. You can save money by talking with attorneys at several firms and comparing services before making a final decision and don’t forget to check online reviews first.
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