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5 Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney

Divorce is at the top of the list as one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.  Finding an attorney that’s the right fit to help you through such a drastic life change can seem like a daunting task, but knowing what to look for is the first step.  Below are a few quick and easy tips to help guide you to finding the right fit for you.

Ask Around

The internet is a great tool—do your research and find out what you can about attorneys that practice in family law in your area.  Word of mouth, though, is one of the easiest ways to find a good attorney.  Talk to people you know that have been through divorce or maybe even that real estate attorney you know will have a good family law referral.  There’s no better substitute than first-hand knowledge! 

Know What You Want and Need

Do you know what kind of attorney you need?  Is this a case that involves complicated financial assets?  Or is it a short marriage with no children and no real financial assets?  You want to make sure you’re hiring an attorney that is equipped to handle your specific needs.

Is the relationship so volatile that coming to an agreement outside of court is out of the question or is the relationship relatively amicable?  Just by way of example, Indiana Collaborative Law practice is a great option for couples that are relatively amicable with each other and want to stay out of the court room.  If this is a possible route you want to consider, you’ll need to make sure you find an attorney that is specifically trained in collaborative law.

Look for Red Flags

While an attorney can provide advice and recommendations based off their own case experience, every situation is different and there are no guaranteed final outcomes.  A good attorney will give you both the good and the bad.  Knowing the positive aspects of your case is great, but it’s equally as important to know the negative implications as well.  Don’t fall into the trap of being told only what you want to hear!

Make Sure You’re Comfortable with the Fee Structure

No one likes to talk about money, but it’s important you fully understand the financial aspects of hiring an attorney.  Experience is important, but so is finding an attorney you can afford, which means you may need to ask some tough questions.  Don’t expect an estimated cost of your entire case, as that’s nearly impossible for an attorney to predict, but make sure you know exactly how you’re getting billed.  Is it a flat fee?  Is it hourly?  Typically, family law attorneys require an initial retainer and then will bill at an hourly rate against that retainer. 

Choose an Attorney You Trust

Comfortability is key.  At the end of the day, you need to go with your gut.  Did the attorney make you feel comfortable about the potential outcome of your case?  Do you feel you’ll be able to rely on the attorney’s knowledge and experience?  Do you feel you can be open with your lawyer about all the nitty gritty details within your marriage?  This may mean divulging information that may feel extremely personal or maybe it means admitting your own faults.  Honesty is an important factor in any legal relationship, so it’s important you not only feel that your lawyer is being honest with you, but that you can be fully honest with your lawyer as well. 

At Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., our team has the experience, the understanding, and the compassion to assist with your family law needs.  If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce, custody, mediation, collaborative law or any other family law concerns, please contact our firm at 317.DIVORCE.