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What to Consider When Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

You wake up one day, and the writing’s on the wall. Divorce is imminent, and you know what you must do — find a divorce lawyer. Or you’re not sure you want a divorce but realize your marriage is no longer working and want to talk to a divorce lawyer to better understand your options. […]

You wake up one day, and the writing’s on the wall. Divorce is imminent, and you know what you must do — find a divorce lawyer. Or you’re not sure you want a divorce but realize your marriage is no longer working and want to talk to a divorce lawyer to better understand your options. Still, you say to yourself, you’ve never had to find such a person before, and you have no idea what to consider when choosing a divorce lawyer. Fortunately, there are specific details, described below, to consider that can help you reach a decision.


When interviewing divorce lawyers (as a rule of thumb, you should interview at least three to compare), you want to make sure they are actually experienced in divorce. You may know a lawyer from your house of worship or community who seems really nice and really smart, but unless they are experienced in handling the multitude of issues that can come up during a divorce, you are going to be better off finding someone who is. Think about it this way: If you had a brain tumor, would you want to be operated on by a cardiovascular surgeon?

Given how family law and estate planning intersect, it is opportune to find a divorce lawyer who can also handle your estate planning issues in-house. You may not realize it, but during a divorce and then again after it concludes, you will want to revisit your existing estate plan or, if you don’t currently have one, create one. 

The reason is so that you can make important decisions impacting your health care and how your assets will be handled in the event you become incapacitated or die during the divorce process. If you are separated, you are still legally married, which means your current spouse could be the one to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable to.

Because you can’t legally address every estate planning issue while you are married, such as the disposition of assets that haven’t been distributed yet, once you are divorced, you will need to make updates to your estate plan again. This process is all made easier with a family law attorney who can also advise you about your estate plan. 


If you ask friends and family if they know a good divorce lawyer, you are likely to receive a flood of referrals. This can be both helpful and unhelpful. 

It’s helpful because the names can be a starting point to begin your search for a family law attorney. However, it can also be overwhelming to you, especially if you are under the assumption that a divorce is a divorce is a divorce, meaning that all divorces are the same. They are not.

Every divorce is as unique as the people involved, as is every divorce lawyer. This is why one person’s experience with their family law attorney may still not make that person the best fit for you and your divorce. Again, this is why the interview process is so critical. 

When you talk to a divorce lawyer personally, you will be better able to gauge the following two criteria: their interest in you and your case and their philosophy, i.e., their approach to divorce cases. This is especially important if you have children or a high net worth, two hot-button issues, among others. Attention to detail — your details — matters as much as your lawyer’s approach to resolving these issues. 


One of the best qualities you can find in a divorce lawyer is one who demonstrates their interest by listening well. You want a lawyer who understands and appreciates that everyone’s circumstances and their emotions around those circumstances can vary. Attuned to your goals from the beginning, they will be better able to be strategic in advocating for you so you can reach them. 

An attentive divorce lawyer will also pay attention to not only what you want out of your divorce, but also the life you envision for yourself afterward. After all, the decisions you make during your divorce will generally impact you and your children if you have any for a long time afterward. To that end, 

your divorce lawyer should provide you with resources so that you can become educated about your divorce, leading you to feel empowered and confident in the informed decisions you make. 


There are various approaches to the divorce process, and as you talk with divorce attorneys you will find that some resonate with you while others do not. Your family law attorney should understand where you are coming from, whether you foresee an amicable divorce or a conflict-filled one, and advise you from there. Of course, the relationship you share with your ex can change, going from good to bad or bad to worse, but also from bad to better.

What you want is a divorce attorney who knows in which moments they should be tough and in which moments a calmer demeanor is in order. These two tones, mind you, are not mutually exclusive. Your divorce lawyer should, aside from getting to know you, know how to read the room — the room in which you are mediating to the courtroom, if necessary


Everyone wants to know how much a divorce will cost them. The answer is that it depends. Obviously, there are ranges in hourly billing rates among family law attorneys. However, the operative question you should be asking yourself is not how much your divorce lawyer charges but, rather, how much value you see yourself receiving from their services and whether they are a fit for you and your case. 

That said, it is still important to be realistic about how much your divorce may cost and whether you can realistically afford the particular divorce lawyer you are interested in hiring. The divorce lawyers you interview should each be able to offer clarity after you speak with them about your case and how much your divorce could cost according to where you are in the divorce process. 

Find an Alabama divorce lawyer.

Finding and hiring a divorce lawyer can be a daunting prospect, filled with uncertainty and unknowns. At Charlotte Christian Law, our team of Alabama family law attorneys are skilled and experienced in resolving divorces that range from amicable and straightforward to complex and high-conflict with attention to how these issues can, at the same time, impact estate planning. 

We evaluate every matter that comes before us individually, operating from a place of empathy for you and the people you care about most. We will advocate as fiercely and as deliberately as situations call for, recognizing that the strongest voice in the room need not be the loudest. With locations in Huntsville and Birmingham, we are here for you. Call us today

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