You can only learn so much about divorce law online. Having the right attorney by your side during this uncertain and stressful time can make a major difference in your personal experience and the case outcome. Before you hire an attorney, here's what you need to know to help guide your search.
Your Personalities Should Mesh
You need to be able to work with your attorney for three months or more. During this emotional and potentially stressful time, you'll have to discuss sensitive personal topics with your divorce attorney on a regular basis. Because of this, you want an attorney you feel comfortable with, one whose personality meshes well with your own and makes you feel at ease.
It's also important your attorney's preferred approach to your case aligns with yours. Their personality will play a role in how they decide to handle your case, so keep this in mind.
In general, it's wise to look for an attorney who is ready to negotiate and advocate for you. They will go to court for you if necessary but will try to settle your case first, which is less expensive and not as stressful as a court battle.
Law Firm Structures Vary
Divorce attorneys run their offices differently. Some do not have assistants and handle everything themselves. Others have paralegals who assist the attorney. Both of these arrangements work, so this will come down to your personal preferences.
Confirm how the attorney and their staff communicate with clients, including the average response time for email messages and phone calls. A firm that replies to inquiries, questions, and concerns in a timely manner is what you will want for your divorce case.
Billing Rates Differ by Attorney
Most attorneys use an hourly billing rate, with time billed in six-minute pieces. However, the hourly billing rate will vary by attorney. Should you hire an attorney for $300 per hour and your case takes ten hours, you will pay $3,000 for the divorce. If you go with an attorney whose fee is $225 per hour, that cost drops to $2,250.
Of course, money shouldn't be your only guide when choosing a divorce attorney. The wrong attorney for your case will end up costing you far more than your initial savings in legal fees. Instead, you should know what the attorneys you're considering charge so you can add that to your list of deciding factors and plan for the cost.
For more information, contact a divorce attorney in your area.