Finding the right divorce law firm may not always be easy. You may be looking through divorce lawyer reviews and scanning the websites of legal service providers in your area. It’s important not to get carried away with the flashiest website or the law firm with the most publicity.
Consider recommendations from friends who have been through the divorce process while keeping in mind a few things before making the decision to hire.
1. Find an experienced lawyer
In family law, experience matters. The more years the lawyer has practicing law, the better their knowledge and understanding of the legal procedures will be. It’s important that the divorce lawyer you choose to be aware of the legal norms in your area.
You may also want to consider a lawyer who is married, in a common law relationship or that has children of their own. A lawyer who fits these criteria may have the ability to empathize more with your situation regarding parenting issues. Lawyers with more life experience may also be more aware of economic issues regarding a family and managing household expenses.
2. Choose a lawyer from a smaller law office
Many of the best divorce lawyers work in smaller firms of ten or fewer attorneys. Lawyers that are a part of a large full-service law firm with offices all over the world may just have a few divorce lawyers usually to take care of their corporate client base. Another downside of these large law offices is higher fees. They may delegate work to associates and bill you for the associate’s time as well.
3. Consider level-headed and assertive lawyers
Find a lawyer who is able to take a pragmatic approach to your case. Beware of lawyers that appear overly-excitable and ready to use anger and turn your divorce into a public battle. You want a family law lawyer that seeks to resolve conflicts rather than create them.
Ask the lawyer how many cases they take to trial per year. They should be doing everything in their power to reach a divorce settlement out of court. Litigation should be the last resort. If less than 95% of their cases remain unsettled it could also be a warning sign.
Avoid warrior-style lawyers. Your lawyer should be assertive but there is no need for aggression. Aggressive lawyers can antagonize your partner and their lawyer and cause further issues. You should look into attorneys who can reach a settlement out of court and avoid those who brag about the courtroom battles they’ve won.
Consider how a lawyer sees people and the world. Are they pessimists or optimists? Do they see people as generally decent or dangerous? This will likely affect how they approach your divorce case.
4. Choose a divorce lawyer that understands the needs of children
If there are children involved, you and your partner may have disagreements on how the parenting responsibilities will be handled. The advice you receive from your divorce lawyer may be critical. The more real-world experience your attorney may have with children, the better. Find out your lawyer’s approach to children and get an idea of the type of settlement they may be able to help you achieve when it comes to your kids.
5. Mediation-friendly lawyers
There are some lawyers who will be supportive if you choose to settle your divorce through mediation. Ask your lawyer if they’ve had cases that have been successfully settled with mediation. If an experienced lawyer can’t mention multiple cases of a successful mediation, you may want to consider continuing your search.
6. A divorce lawyer who has time for you
Your lawyer may play a big role in shaping your family’s future so it’s important that you feel confident with your choice. If you want a lawyer that will be committed to helping keep things amicable, consider asking whether you can still expect to be on speaking terms with your ex after the divorce proceedings. Find a lawyer who can clearly explain the process without speaking in a condescending manner.
If you’re looking to hire a Surrey divorce lawyer, the team at Nirwan Law can help.