Five Things to Look For When Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

November 24, 2017

It’s always difficult when you have to find a divorce lawyer. It means that something you wanted to work out didn’t, and you’re probably going through some emotional turmoil. During the course of that difficulty, it can be easy to simply choose any lawyer that comes along. This is the wrong choice. A good divorce lawyer can save you lots of money and stress. Here are five things to look for when hiring a divorce lawyer.

1. A gender-specific focus

When consulting with potential divorce lawyers, you should consider whether they focus on men, women or both. Some lawyers pride themselves on handling cases only for men. Others see the divorce process as cooperative and are able to represent either side. Whatever the case, you should find a lawyer who you are comfortable with. If you’re a woman looking for the best representation, it’s likely not best to enlist the help of a lawyer who has a history of only advocating for men.

2. An approach that matches your goals

Each person will have a difficult goal in the divorce process. Maybe you are looking to protect yourself financially as much as possible. Perhaps you are most concerned about keeping custody or your children. Maybe you want the process to go as quickly as possible so your children won’t have to ensure a lengthy, drawn-out process. You should look for a lawyer who shares your vision and is able to execute it. You don’t want to hire a lawyer who will aggressively go after the other party if your primary goal is to maintain a good relationship with your ex.

3. A payment agreement you can live with

Divorce lawyers have different types of payment approaches. Some will want all of the money up front. Others will let you pay as you go. Whatever the case, nothing can disrupt the relationship between a lawyer and client more than payment issues. You want your lawyer to always be on your side, but what happens if you struggle to pay? Find a lawyer who seems flexible and agree only to what you can afford. This will protect you throughout the process. To learn more, there is plenty of useful information available at Matrimonial Home.

4. Someone with local experience

You don’t want to use a Toronto-based lawyer if your case will be contested in a rural court. You should find someone who not only has the skills to help you, but also has familiarity with the courts where you’ll be sorting out your issues. A good divorce attorney can leverage relationships in these courts to help facilitate a quicker process or allow you to get more out of it financially. Someone will local experience will also be more accessible to you during the more difficult moments of the divorce proceedings. It will certainly be tough, so it always pays to have a lawyer on your side who you can reach when you have questions keeping you up at night.

5. Comfort level with alternative dispute processes

It’s often possible to resolve your divorce without having to go in front of a judge for a hearing. A good lawyer will be able to work things out with alternative dispute resolution, including mediation. If your potential lawyer does not seem comfortable with this approach, then you might consider going with a lawyer who is better able to sort through the many options at your disposal during this difficult process. Likewise, you might consider whether your would-be lawyer is more interested in extending the client relationship in order to get more money rather than helping to actually fight for your rights in the case.