Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Divorce is often one of the more traumatic events in a person’s life, because it upends his/her vision of the future, and requires a reorientation of one’s life. Picking the right attorney to handle one’s divorce case is one of the most pivotal decisions related to this process, outside of the decision to get divorced in the first place, but picking an attorney can also feel like taking a shot in the dark and hoping the desired result occurs. However, this perspective does not have to be a person’s experience, and simply applying some knowledge to the selection process can make divorcing spouses feel more in control and comfortable with the legal team leading the charge. Feeling comfortable with one’s attorney facilitates a better working relationship, which often translates into better results. A discussion of some tools divorcing spouses can use to mindfully select a divorce attorney, and ways in which a client can give an attorney the most complete picture of the state of the marriage and outstanding issues, will follow below.
The Purpose of the Initial Consultation
Most people do not have a lot of experience interacting with attorneys from the client’s point of view, and may find the first meeting, often called the initial consultation, to be anxiety inducing. However, if a potential client shifts perspective a little, not only will the experience be more pleasant, but also, more likely to yield useful results for both sides. Instead of approaching the first meeting as a session involving scrutiny, look at the time as an opportunity for both attorney and client to get to know one another, so each can decide if the fit is right and the desired goals are obtainable. This means the client needs to do some initial prep work to make the conversation productive, and importantly, to guard against frustration and potential embarrassment from not having all the necessary information. In other words, before showing up for the first meeting with a divorce attorney, clients need to know what they want, i.e., to keep the house, alimony, shared or sole child custody, etc., which requires some forethought and the gathering of documents related to financial holdings and income, to start.
Deciding to Hire
Since both the potential client and attorney are evaluating whether to work together, the client should keep a few key considerations in mind before making a final decision:
- Does this attorney/law firm focus on divorce/family law, or is family law just one type of law practiced? The more focused an attorney is on one area, the better he/she understands the law, procedure, and the nuances of the local court system.
- Does the client have a particularly complex or unique issue, such as the disability of a child to address? Asking the attorney if he/she has experience with specific issues is important to getting the right outcome, as general knowledge of divorce may not fully encompass specific situations.
- Ask questions about the preferred method of communication, how accessible the attorney would be, and the expected fees. This logistical and administrative information is often the primary source of dissatisfaction by clients, so having a clear picture of what to expect at the beginning should alleviate misunderstandings and unrealized expectations.
- Talk to family and friends about attorney recommendations.
- Finally, the rapport the attorney and client have, or how well they “click” is frequently the most telling sign a relationship will work, and should play a role in deciding which attorney to hire.
Talk to a Tampa, Florida Divorce Attorney
Divorce requires each spouse to make a lot of key and long-reaching decisions that are hard to fully understand at the outset. Working with the experienced family law attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. can greatly remove this uncertainty, and give you a clear picture of what happens going forward. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay for a consultation at no charge. They can be reached at 813-672-1900.
by Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+