There are many things to consider when choosing an attorney to handle your divorce.
First, referrals – if someone liked their divorce attorney that is a great start. Do not however trust online referrals and reviews as lots of these are fraudulent. The rankings are typically baseless and you can pay your way into some of the “best lawyer” list and awards. Trust personal referrals only! Also, you can always verify the official status of a lawyer, to see if his or her license is active, by searching their name online with the Attorney Regulation Counsel.
Second, you need to click with this person. You will be sharing very personal details of your life and finances, if you are not comfortable with them, then don’t hire them.
Third, you may be inclined to hire someone from the biggest city near where you live but your better off hiring someone who works in the jurisdiction you live in. For example, here in Highlands Ranch you want a divorce attorney who frequently handles cases in Douglas County. There may be some Denver attorneys who handle cases here, but I would make sure they have at least 25 percent of their cases in your jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has its own quirks. A family law attorney who is familiar with a judge will be better suited to advise you on how that judge will make rulings. They will also be able to save you from making frivolous motions that will only waste your money and time.
Fourth, don’t trust an attorney that makes promises about what will happen. Your attorney can advise you and say what is likely to happen based on his or her experience but ultimately the final decision is up to the judge.
Fifth, in a divorce cases you want an attorney you will be able to talk to as questions arrive. When looking for a divorce attorney try and call them and see how long it takes for a return call. Ask them if you will be able to speak with them or will a paralegal be your contact.
Finally, make sure your attorney is supportive of mediation. I am not writing this just because I am a family law mediator in Highlands Ranch. It is because mediation will save you money which means money your attorney will not get. Still many divorce attorneys are supportive of mediation because they see how it helps their clients resolve cases on their terms. Many attorneys are essential in making mediation work by advising their clients on what is a good middle ground. Your attorneys first goal should be working in your best interest which could be resolving the case through mediation. This isnt always the case of course but I would be leery of a divorce attorney who wasn’t open to trying alternative dispute resolution.
Then trust your own instinct! Going through divorce is hard enough, make sure if you choose to hire an attorney it is someone you feel comfortable with. If you like them chances are they will have a good working relationship with other attorneys and the Judges and that is very important.
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