A divorce is always a tough time and personally it can be hell for everyone in the family. However, the fact is that the legal process of a divorce can be and is often completed within a short time and with minimal fuss.
How can you make your divorce go through without any issues, at least on a legal level? The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors, like the personality of your spouse, the reason for the divorce, the support system for both partners, the importance of what is at stake, and your choice of lawyers. Out of all these factors, there is one thing that you can control, and it is the last one.
When you are choosing a divorce lawyer, you should never just randomly pick one from an advertisement or an attorney listing. More importantly, you should not rely on the lawyer you used for other reasons, like writing up a rental agreement, solving a property dispute, or drawing up your will. You need someone who is experienced in divorce cases, and this involves knowledge and expertise in family law.
Some states have board certifications in place for attorneys who are experienced in family law. These board-certified family attorneys specialize in various family-related issues, including divorce cases. The certification program itself is generally quite rigorous with lawyers needing enough related trial experience and passing a stringent test.
Maintaining the certification is a task unto itself, with further education needed in family law every year. Most of these board-certified attorneys obtain twice the education required by non-certified family law attorneys. They also tend to charge more and ask for higher retainers because of the experience and expertise they bring to the table.
If you are looking to hire a good divorce lawyer, here are some tips to help you:
Get someone who talks straight
Divorce cases can be very tricky when there is a lot at stake, so you need to always know what is going on during the case. Unfortunately, it is easy to get lost in all the legalese that is thrown about in the courtroom. That is where your divorce attorney should be able to explain the process in plain language without any of the jargon.
You should be able to trust the attorney
It is very important to be able to trust and be comfortable with a divorce attorney. Unlike a property or civil dispute, a divorce case is very personal and you need to be able to convey what you feel and want to your attorney so that s/he can do a better job. If you want to put the needs of your children’s first or avoid pursuing certain demands, your attorney should understand that and do the work accordingly.
The attorney should be affordable
Money is an important factor when choosing an attorney, but make sure that it is not the only one. Ask about the consultation fee, which may be free for brief initial ones or as much as a few hundred dollars. Also find out what their hourly rate and upfront retailer is, and how much of their payment is refundable.
Jennifer writes for Ronald A. Saper, a leading divorce attorney in Arizona in the Phoenix Divorce Law Firm. She frequently writes about the need of a divorce lawyer and how they help the people in need of divorce.