When you are facing a divorce, the first question is often about if should you hire a lawyer? When you decide to get legal representation, the next question will be: how do you find the right divorce attorney?
There are many right and wrong steps to take to ensure you have the right lawyer for you. Every divorce is unique, and different attorneys handle cases in different ways. The following are some tips for ensuring that you find the right attorney for your situation.
Don’t Assume Every Attorney Can Handle Your Divorce
A few years ago, you had an attorney write your will or help you handle a traffic ticket. Since you already are familiar with that law firm, you may be tempted to simply call them to handle your divorce. Even if family law is not their primary focus, they may agree to handle your case just to earn the money.
Divorce laws and procedures are highly complex in Missouri and finding a St. Louis Divorce Attorney can be hard. A lawyer without a robust family law practice and extensive experience in family court will likely not be familiar with the nuances in the law. This can result in you losing property or other rights that you are entitled to. You should always seek help from an attorney who focuses their practice on family law, instead of relying on someone because they handled another type of legal matter for you.
Ensure Their Approach Matches Your Case and Goals
Furthermore, just because an attorney focuses on divorce does not mean they will automatically be right for your case. Some attorneys are known for being aggressive litigators, while others may encourage mediation and other measures to foster out-of-court compromise.
If you do not want an adversarial divorce, you should not hire someone who focuses on their abilities in the courtroom. This often means the attorney may push for litigation instead of exploring possible ways to resolve the matter without court intervention.
There are many reasons to avoid divorce litigation, including:
- Goals for healthy co-parenting
- You and your spouse have an amicable relationship and are willing to cooperate
- You want to keep the control over the outcome of your case in your own hands
Another very common reason to avoid litigation whenever possible is to reduce the cost of a divorce. A divorce can often lead to financial struggles, even without the cost of the legal case. You are going from the financial support of two people to one in many situations, and you are not sure of what property or support you will be entitled to. For this reason, it is an important goal for many divorcing people to save as much money during the process as they can.
Litigation takes money, time, energy, and many other resources that you are better off saving if possible. A dedicated litigator may not have the same goals to adhere to a strict budget as you might. It is important to consider how a lawyer will respect your goals and values during the divorce process, and whether their legal style will mesh with your objectives.
Interview Your Lawyer to See If You Are Fully Comfortable with Them
You can check all the boxes for experience, family law focus, reputation, and more, but the most important factor remains – are you comfortable with your attorney based on their personality? While an email or brief phone call can give you information about the lawyer and the law firm, it often does not give you a clear idea of their personality and personal approach.
In a divorce case, it is extremely important that you feel like you can be open and honest with your lawyer at every turn. Your lawyer should be ready to listen to your perspective and concerns, and they should develop a strategy for your case based on your individual circumstances. You should never feel judged by your lawyer, or that you need to hold anything back. Complete honesty is important to ensure you take the right approach to your divorce.
If you interview a potential attorney and do not feel like you can be open with them, or you simply do not get the right feeling about their personality, you should not hire them. Instead, find someone who you believe will truly represent you and your values.
Contact a St. Louis Divorce and Mediation Attorney for More Information
Divorce is a highly personal matter, and you should have an attorney who you are completely comfortable with and who you feel you can trust to best represent you and your goals. Whether you’re looking for an experienced divorce lawyer or St. Louis Mediation services, it is critical that your divorce lawyer has extensive experience handling divorce cases similar to yours. At J. Rench Law Firm, LLC, we represent clients in divorce cases and encourage mediation, negotiation, and other ways to compromise for the most favorable resolutions possible. Call 314-725-4000 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.