Selecting a divorce attorney is a critical decision making process here in the Colorado Springs area. The person who you hire will be responsible for obtaining or maintaining your custody rights to your children, your property interests, and depending upon the side you are one, either minimizing or maximizing your support rights.
In reality, selecting a divorce attorney is also an incredibly stressful experience. Do it right and you can breath easy. Do it wrong and you will spend years making up for losses that might have been prevented. Do not fear though, we are here to help you in finding your divorce lawyer!
Why Hiring a Divorce Attorney Is A Good Idea
Going through a divorce is a devastating thing for most people. It is one of the worst times in anyone's life. It is an emotional time, not knowing what your financial status will be until it is over. Whether you want to or not, it is critical that you find an excellent divorce attorney. Your financial stability depends on it. However it is not always as easy as it sounds. You need to find the best there is, and often it will take some research in order to find someone who will represent your best interests.
When you first start your search, create a list of attorneys that you may be interested in. Make appointments with each of them and then interview each one. Make sure you are speaking to the attorney that will handle your case and not a law clerk or paralegal. Most divorce attorneys will not charge for this initial consultation because they realize they are being interviewed.
Ask them how long they have been in practice and what their success rate is. Ask for references from past clients and speak to them. Also ask them what their fees are and what they include. Find out if you can get questions answered during the procedure without them billing you for every microsecond that they talk to you.
A good divorce attorney will welcome and answer any question that you have. He or she above all understands what is at stake and will do everything in his or her power to get you what you deserve.
Most divorce attorneys do not charge for the initial consultation. However if the attorney is highly sought after, there may be a consultation fee. You may want to consider paying this fee because the attorney did not get his or her reputation for losing cases.
When you first start your search for a divorce attorney, you can start with your local phonebook. Another option is to ask friends and family who have suffered divorce for their recommendations. Personal recommendations can carry a lot of value if you trust and respect the person giving their opinion.
A good divorce attorney will take into consideration the needs of you and your family, especially if you have children. He or she will do everything they can to settle your case out of court. While they usually charge one rate, if the divorce can be settled out of court, most often they will reduce their rate, sometimes significantly.
Be wary of an attorney that wants to go to court. He or she may not have your best interest in mind. Again, if an out of court settlement can be reached, that is most likely in your best financial interests.
A good attorney will also do everything in his or her power to make sure that the divorce is the only answer to your marital situation. This could include recommending counseling. If there is a chance to salvage your marriage, he or she will encourage you to take the chance. Only when there is no other option will he or she proceed with the divorce and make sure that you get your share of the marital assets.
Choosing a good divorce attorney will give you the peace of mind in knowing that you will be well taken care of at a time of confusion, chaos and just a mess of dealings. Divorce is hard on all parties that are involved and with a good divorce attorney; it can relieve some of the stress from your life.
Selecting a Divorce Attorney
Selecting a divorce attorney is a critical decision making process. The person who you hire will be responsible for obtaining or maintaining your custody rights to your children, your property interests, and depending upon the side you are one, either minimizing or maximizing your support rights.
In reality, selecting a divorce attorney is also an incredibly stressful experience. Do it right and you can breath easy. Do it wrong and you will spend years making up for losses that might have been prevented.
There are a few tried and true tactics that you should be using when you select a divorce attorney. Before you even begin, you need to identify the type of case that you will be involved in. Will you be mediating your divorce? Will you be negotiating? Or, will your case be one of those cases that goes to court and becomes a knock down, drag out divorce litigation?
There are divorce attorneys who specialize in these different types of cases and you need to hire the type of divorce attorney who is best suited to the type of case that you have. If you need to deal with a knock down, drag out litigation, you do not want a mediation attorney trying to protect your interests. Likewise, if you are going through mediation, the last thing you want is a divorce attorney who will try to create issues and move you towards litigation.
So, step one in the process of selecting a divorce attorney is to identify the type of case that you have. Next, start asking people for help. Since the divorce rate in the United States is at about 50%, chances are you know at least several people who have been through a divorce. Ask about their process, how they selected a divorce attorney, and how their attorney performed for them.
After you have received the names of several divorce attorneys that you received from asking other people, go online and start researching those attorneys and others. Many divorce attorneys have websites, write articles, and advertise on divorce portal websites. You can get quite a bit of information about how an attorney approaches cases and treats clients by reviewing their website.
After you have reviewed the divorce attorney websites, make a list of at least two and as many as five divorce attorneys who you think you will be comfortable speaking with. Call the offices of those divorce attorneys and schedule consultations. Some of those attorneys will charge you for a consultation; the more experience the attorney has, the more likely that you will have to pay for time with that attorney.
When you attend a consultation with a divorce attorney, be prepared. Make an outline of the history of your marriage and the problems facing you now. If you or your spouse has filed any papers in court, make sure you bring them with you. Bring one or two years tax returns or a recent financial statement so that the divorce attorney can review some of your financial data before being asked questions about "results".
Make sure you ask each divorce attorney questions about how that attorney's office operates in response to client phone calls, emails, or other inquiries or needs. If you will be working with a divorce attorney who has no other attorney in their office, be prepared to wait in line when you have a need for a response. That attorney will have other clients who have needs just as significant as yours, and an attorney can be responsive to only one client at a time. Even with that drawback, there may be a divorce attorney who you feel is just right for you who is also a solo practitioner. That is a trade off that you may have to get comfortable with.
After you have completed all of the consultations and reviewed the answers to all of your questions, decide which divorce attorney you felt most comfortable with and which one you believe will work with you to get the type of results that you want.results that you want.
5 Tips to Help You Find a Divorce Attorney
Selecting a divorce lawyer to handle your family law case is a very important decision. The following are a few important criteria to help in finding the right divorce lawyer.
Experience and Focus
Any divorce lawyer you consider should have substantial experience in handling divorce cases in your location. An experienced divorce lawyer will know the tendencies of the various judges in your jurisdiction and should be able to use this knowledge to your advantage. Additionally, that lawyer should practice primarily in the field of divorce law. Often people will hire a lawyer who practices primarily in some other area, thinking that any lawyer will do. However, divorce law is a very specialized field that requires particular skills and experience in order to have a likelihood of reaching a successful conclusion.
Past Client Testimonials
Perhaps the best way to decide which divorce lawyer to use for your divorce case is to find out what former clients have to say about that lawyer. While divorce is never an enjoyable process, some divorce lawyers have more success at satisfying their clients than others. If you do not know someone who has been a client of that particular divorce lawyer, you should consider asking the lawyer for a list of clients that you can contact who can describe their experience with the lawyer. While client confidentiality is important, any good experienced divorce lawyer should have at least a few former clients who are willing to vouch for him or her.
When a client becomes dissatisfied with a divorce lawyer, one of the most common complaints is that they were unable to communicate with the lawyer. It is very important that your divorce lawyer be accessible and prompt in responding to your phone calls, emails, and requests for meetings. While you can ask the divorce lawyer about their office policy, this is another area where you can best evaluate the divorce lawyer by hearing what former clients have to say.
If a former client of the lawyer tells you that they found it very difficult to contact the attorney, or that the lawyer either did not return calls or respond to emails or would take several days to do so, you should definitely avoid that lawyer. Divorce is an unpleasant and frustrating process under the best of circumstances. If you are unable to reach your divorce attorney, or at least someone on his or her staff, the frustration level can increase exponentially.
When you make your initial appointment with the divorce attorney, you should inquire about a consultation fee. Some lawyers do brief initial consultations for free, although most experienced divorce lawyers will charge between $100.00 and $200.00 as a consultation fee, or will charge their normal hourly rate.
For example, I charge a flat $100.00 consultation fee with no additional hourly charges, regardless of the length of the meeting. Essentially, the consultation fee is to "weed out" those people who are not serious about the possibility of hiring me. Given that my normal hourly rate is $200.00/hour and the usual typical consultation takes about 90 minutes, the charge for my consultation is significantly discounted. Therefore, you shouldn't let a consultation fee scare you away from interviewing a particular lawyer.
During the consultation it is vitally important that you have a candid discussion with the prospective divorce lawyer about fees and what you can expect. Typically, an experienced divorce lawyer will require the payment of a substantial retainer up front, against which that lawyer's hourly rate and expenses will be charged. You should find out what that lawyer's hourly rate is, what the up front retainer will be, whether any portion of the retainer is refundable if it is not exhausted, and how often you can expect to receive invoices that detail their hourly charges and expenses. You also will want to know how detailed the invoices are. Once again, this is another area where you can get excellent information from those people who have been clients of that divorce lawyer.
While all the above issues are important, there is one final question you should ask yourself before hiring a divorce lawyer. Are you comfortable with that lawyer and are you confident in his or her abilities? If the answer is anything other than a resounding "yes," you should keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence
Divorce can sometimes be the best option for a bad marriage. However, getting a divorce is not an easy task. The procedure usually involves a lot of legal complexities relating to the custody of children, property, alimony, child support, and other such issues. Letting a divorce lawyer deal with all of the messy issues is often the best choice for either party.