Finding the right divorce lawyer is rife with emotion. You’re going through a difficult family law situation to begin with and now you must select the person who look after your best interests. The following tips will help ensure you find an attorney you can trust.
1. Have realistic expectations
Remember that this person isn’t there to act as your therapist during this terrible life experience. Don’t put these expectations on your attorney. Instead of flooding them with your frustrations and anger, speak to them about the legal process they’re in charge of helping you with.
Their job is to resolve any custody issues and dissolve assets. While the emotional toll is high on your list of priorities, that issue barely registers in the mind of your lawyer. They are there to do a job. Let them do it without any added baggage.
2. Put your budget together
Know your budget because this will have an affect on who you can hire to help you. Rates vary for attorneys depending on their specialties, size of firm, etc.
3. Know your needs
What is your specific situation? Is it possible that you and your partner can work through a more friendly approach to the divorce? Or is this going to get messy for you? You need to know this so you can select the divorce lawyer Toronto best equipped to help you navigate the divorce waters.
Other factors to consider about your lawyer are age, personality, and gender. It’s perfectly all right to have preferences in these areas and to use them as deciding factors.
4. Look at three potential lawyers
Don’t jump into hiring the very first one you meet with. You need to compare more than one against the other. Of course, your attorney must specialize in family law so they have the experience you require.
The best lawyer has proper knowledge in divorce proceedings, takes the time to educate you on the process, has excellent negotiation and communication skills and knows how to solve problems. They should also intimately know the family law judges in your local area so they can best advise you on your overall legal strategy.
5. Interview process
Get things started through a phone call. Ask them the proper questions, such as:
– Family law experience
– Divorce experience
– Their typical client situation
– Their rates
– Is a free consult offered?
In terms of rates, you’ll find that most divorce lawyers ask for a retainer and then an hourly fee. Some will negotiate their fee off any anticipated settlement. If an attorney is way outside your budget, don’t waste any more time setting up a meeting.
Most lawyers will give you a free consultation so you feel comfortable coming in to meet personally. Find out the details about your attorney’s history and track record when it comes to handling cases in court. Use this time to also meet with anyone else in the office who will handle the more day-to-day issues with your case.
6. Do red flags pop up?
For some lawyers, this is just a business and they’ll say anything to get your business. Be careful if your potential lawyer makes high promises. Nothing is guaranteed during a divorce proceeding.
Watch out if they give personal information about past clients. If they talk this way about other people, it’s likely they’ll do the same after your case. See if they get distracted during your consult with phone calls or emails. If they aren’t paying attention to you now, it’s highly unlikely they’ll treat your case the way you want them to later.
7. Choose your divorce lawyer
At the end of the day, you want to make your choice based on the fact that your lawyer is knowledgeable, local, responsive to your needs, professional, and a good communicator. As well, you want to feel comfortable overall and as though you can trust this person.
This is an emotional process so you need a divorce lawyer who separates the emotions out and ensures that you experience the best possible outcome for your future. It may be worthwhile to visit Matrimonial Home for more information.