Going through a divorce is hard, there really is no recipe for making it easy or enjoyable, but having a good support system in place can certainly help. One important element of a good support system is the right divorce lawyer. Notice that they are part of the support system, not the star of the show. You deserve a divorce lawyer who will work hard for what you want. Picking a divorce lawyer you will love requires some preparation, but hopefully it will pay off in the end by giving you the best possible experience and outcome.
Three keys to choosing a divorce lawyer you will love:
1. Understand Yourself
Divorce is an inherently emotional time and you probably have a lot of questions about yourself, your spouse, and your relationship. This is a good time to do some self-evaluation to better understand how you best communicate, what motivates you, what your strengths and weaknesses are, etc. Doing this will also help you figure out what type of lawyer would best suit you and your needs. Do you prefer a divorce lawyer who will be compassionate or impartial? Aggressive or conservative? Traditional or unconventional?
When it comes to your support system, remember that your divorce lawyer is only one aspect, and their time comes at a hefty price. Divorce coach Laura Miolla cautions, “Your divorce attorney’s job is to represent you to the best of his or her ability in this process. While you might want them to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job. They are not trained to be your therapist or coach, and they don’t want to be.” For emotional support, reach out to trusted friends and family or find a therapist who can listen and provide constructive support.
2. Understand Your Goals
What is most important to you? To have as much time as possible with your kids? To stay in your home? To receive alimony? To keep the dog? Whatever is most important to you should be most important to your divorce lawyer. A great divorce lawyer will also guide you in seeing things from a big picture perspective to make sure you aren’t missing anything during this difficult time.
Family divorce lawyers have different specialties and areas of strength. Diana Shepherd, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, says, “In each divorce, different issues come up that require special attention, so it is best to find a lawyer who concentrates on the specific issues that may arise in your divorce.” Examples include child custody and support, alimony, military divorce, etc.
3. Ask Good Questions
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when finding the right fit for your divorce lawyer. The best way to determine if a divorce lawyer is right for you is to ask plenty of good questions. While you are preparing to meet with several attorneys before choosing whom you want to represent you, keep a running list of the questions you have. Bring this list with you to your meetings to help you remember everything. The American Bar Association offers several questions to get you started:
- Does This Lawyer Listen to Me, Or Does He Or She Just Talk and Lecture?
- Is This a Lawyer Who Primarily Handles Divorce Cases?
- Is This Attorney Someone With Whom I Feel Comfortable?
- Can I Afford This Attorney’s Services?
Choosing a divorce lawyer you “love” may be a task you never anticipated needing to do, but with a little preparation and some good questions it’s not impossible. Charlotte Christian understands that life doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes you just need someone to be on your side. If you are searching for a divorce lawyer who specializes in family law including child custody, child support, military divorce and alimony, we think you’ll love The Alabama Law Group.