Just as it is more difficult to win a national championship with a weak quarterback, divorce becomes much harder when you’re following the lead of a family law attorney who is poorly equipped to be on the field. To come out on the other side of the process on your feet (and not wheeled out on a stretcher!), consider these steps for recruiting just the right family law attorney for the position:
Don’t just settle for the lowest rate
Realizing that that sounds a little self-serving, let me explain: You often get what you pay for. Even if you’re rightfully attempting to save a little money upfront, you must realize that you will pay for the process in other ways, be it slower response times, a longer process that ends up costing you more anyway, an emotional rollercoaster, or losing out on items or rights that should have been yours. It’s not worth the risk. Don’t make the legal fee the sole deciding factor in your selection of a family law attorney.
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Recognize their role
The most expensive family law attorney isn’t always the best one, either. So, as you’re basing your decision not on the legal fee, but rather on what the firm brings to the table, be prepared for what exactly that should look like. Your attorney is not your therapist, your sounding board, nor your life coach. Their role is to purely focus on the end zone of your legal proceedings. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of them getting you there as quickly as possible. They should be experts on this specific type of law. They should have sufficient knowledge and proven experience in successfully handling cases similar to yours.
Know what you need
Especially in the case of military divorces, you will need to hire a family law attorney who specializes in and has experience with the specific arena that directly relates to your situation. Whomever you choose should be able to explain the divorce process to you, support your efforts to understand, and have a proven track record for being able to negotiate effectively on their clients’ behalf. You will, of course, need to know their rates, their typical client, and the various other resources, technology and colleagues they may have access to in order to provide you with excellent legal advice and personal client care.
Have a goal in mind
Any divorce attorney you interview for the role in your specific situation will need to know what you want on the other side of the process. If they are unable to get you to the destination where you want to arrive at the end of your divorce, perhaps you should either rethink your family law attorney selection or rethink the divorce process altogether!
Consider the Kids
Laura Miolla, a separation and divorce coach, often reminds parents that if they have children involved in the divorce, then they are responsible for standing guard over their well-being. However, your family law attorney should also be expected to keep the children’s needs and best interest at heart.
Remember, it’s your life
A divorce is not a situation to enter into lightly. You need a family law attorney who understands that fact, too. Keep an eye out for anything that might hint at a lack of propriety and honesty. He or she absolutely must treat your divorce case professionally, respectfully and respond to your needs with kindness and understanding.
Recruit the Right Family Law Attorney
Just as a coach needs the opportunity to watch prospective QBs in action and the chance to learn more about their experiences and unique approaches to the game, you need to have some time with potential family law attorneys before you hit the field.