If you want your divorce case to go according to your expectations and to be successful quickly, hiring a divorce attorney is one of the most important things that you must do. It’s acceptable not to have much knowledge about getting a divorce, especially if it’s your first time. You might have only heard one-sided stories from friends and acquaintances who have been through a divorce. This gives you one more reason to hire a lawyer to guide you through all the steps of the case and to represent you in court.
You might have expectations of what divorce cases are like based on what you see on television and movies. There is a possibility that this misinformation from the media would lead you to make rash and unwise decisions regarding your own divorce. A skilled and experienced divorce attorney would be able to keep you on the right path, provide you with assistance and most of all, make sure that your interests are protected.
Qualities in a Lawyer That You Should Look For
You might be wondering now how in the world would you be able to choose a lawyer out of seemingly thousands of divorce lawyers in your area. Let’s keep it simple. The lawyer you should look for should always be great at communication (not only with you but with everyone involved with the case), honest (especially with you) and should be skilled in making negotiations (because it’s better to settle the case outside of the court if possible). It is also important that the divorce attorney you choose knows how to empathize with his or her clients because you will need that as you go through the pains of the divorce. You need someone who knows what you are going through – you need someone with a heart.
Now that you know what to look for in an attorney who would help you through your divorce, another big question pops up. How are you supposed to look for an attorney with those characteristics mentioned above? This is probably the toughest part of looking for an attorney. If you don’t have any idea on who to hire, you will need to start speaking with some attorneys specializing in family law. You can try to figure out whether a lawyer has the qualities mentioned above by talking with your prospects.
During a Consultation
During your initial consultation with your potential lawyer, you will be able to create first impressions. The more you talk, the more you’d be able to figure out whether you can trust him or not.
In speaking with a family law attorney during a consultation, it is best to focus on experience. For sure, you can easily look up online the basic experience of an attorney.
However, during your consultation, it is better to ask your lawyer about his experience in dealing with cases like yours. If he has encountered similar cases, ask how the case ended. Was the client able to achieve his or her goals pertaining to the divorce? If not, what were the hindrances that kept it from happening?
Experience and Specialization
When looking at a lawyer’s experience, it’s not simply about the length of time he has spent as a lawyer. He could be seventy but still inexperienced in a case like yours. Your decision regarding the type and length of experience you would require is totally up to you.
When you are looking for a lawyer to hire for your divorce case, make sure that the person you hire is a specialist in family law. If he is experienced in other areas other than family law and divorce, it is not a good idea to hire him. After all, Texas laws are very specific, which is why we’re putting a lot of weight on experience.
You should not hire a lawyer haphazardly because your future may depend a lot on the lawyer that you hire for your divorce case.
Fees and Other Money Issues
A lot of people make the wrong choice in hiring an attorney because they were taken in by low fees and little or no initial retainer. Unfortunately, there are some lawyers who would advertise low fees and retainers but would let your divorce case drag on and on that in the end, you’d end up paying a huge chunk of money from your savings – for an unsatisfactory divorce result at that too!
Make sure to get an estimate at your initial consultation for both the cost and the duration of your divorce case. The estimate that the lawyer will tell you will tell you if you can afford to hire him or not.
Who to Hire
The driving force that would lead you to choose a certain lawyer should not be money. As we have mentioned above, there are certain characteristics you should look for in a family law attorney. Obviously, it will be a bad idea to cut corners and hire a lawyer just because he offers low rates.
You can think of hiring a lawyer as an investment. You don’t really need to go for the most expensive one, but hiring the one who would really fight for your goals and interests is worth it.
Aside from that, hiring a family law attorney who offers cheap services may also really provide cheap services which can prolong your divorce case and make matters worse. Look for an efficient lawyer instead who can provide you his services at a reasonable rate.
Who Not to Hire
Don’t hire a lawyer who is too enthusiastic about going to court – especially if your case is a no-fault divorce case. It is always better to go for a mediation and a settlement outside of the court as much as possible. Going to court should be your last card.
However, if your divorce case is more complicated, such as one including adultery or abuse, you should also avoid choosing an attorney without court or trial experience, or one that is too hesitant to go to court.
On a Final Note
Don’t go looking for a lawyer because you want revenge on your spouse. This should not be your motivation for getting a divorce. If this is what’s driving you to get a divorce, the divorce will be finalized without you feeling any satisfaction. It will also drain you emotionally and financially.
If your goal in getting a lawyer and getting a divorce is simply to get back at your spouse, then your divorce will never be considered ‘successful’.
However, in getting a divorce with the aid of a skilled family lawyer, you can be sure that you can achieve your goals, take what’s rightfully yours, and protect your interests through the ordeal of getting a divorce in Texas.
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