Working with a knowledgeable lawyer that you trust is an absolute necessity for anyone going through a divorce! Many times we face a lot of internal resistance when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Some of the resistance may be associated with the fact that hiring a lawyer really makes the divorce a reality like it never was before. Finances may be tight and hiring an attorney may seem like an added and unnecessary expense. On top of that, how do you even begin to choose the right person for the job? All of these factors can be extremely overwhelming.
There are several things to consider when interviewing attorneys for your unique situation. Start by asking around in your network for referrals to reputable attorneys specializing in divorce. Other members of your support team (your financial advisor, CPA, etc.) may know several great divorce attorneys and even have professional working relationships with them. It’s crucial to find an attorney that you aren’t intimidated by and are comfortable working with! This is why it’s important to meet a couple of the attorneys you are considering in person. I am glad that I chose to do this. The first couple of lawyers I spoke with were hard to understand. Their default language was “legalese”, you know when the lawyer uses too many technical terms not- lawyers don’t understand. Divorce is hard enough. I didn’t want to work with a lawyer that also required an interpreter. Consider bringing your friend (“Mary Modmother”) for a second set of eyes.
Look for a lawyer that not just tells you what they can do but asks you exactly what you are looking to gain by adding them to your team of trusted advisors. When you do find the right attorney, ask about their fee structure and don’t sign any agreements before you get the chance to review them in depth and gain a solid understanding of your responsibilities. To save time and money, ask your attorney ahead of time what they need from you to get the process started. You may need to involve other members of your support team such as your financial advisor or CPA to gather necessary information for your lawyer.
Finding the right attorney to guide you through the legal aspects of divorce is critical. While finding the right attorney may seem like a stressful process, it really doesn’t have to be. Just take it one step at a time and trust your intuition when it comes to finding someone that will be pleasant to work with. You don’t have to do everything all at once. Take it one step at a time and remember that you are in charge of you!