If you are considering a divorce or already facing one, you need an attorney who will stand by your side through these next several weeks, months, or years with legally sound advice, wise counsel, and compassionate advocacy. How do you find the right one?
Based on our years of experience representing clients in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the surrounding area, we hear stories about trying to find the right divorce attorney. We understand how consequential your choice of attorney can be. In this article, we share our advice on finding the right divorce attorney for you.
Focus on Local Attorneys
First, focus your search on local divorce attorneys. Local attorneys will understand the divorce laws in your state and county. They will also know the court officials and judges who will be handling your divorce. With their local knowledge, experience, and relationships, they will be able to provide you with better-informed advice.
Know Your Budget
Divorces can be expensive, so before you begin contacting prospective divorce attorneys, consider what your budget will be. While most attorneys charge by the hour, they may charge significantly different rates from one another. Knowing your budget will help narrow your search.
Even so, do not choose the most expensive or the cheapest divorce attorney just because of their rate. An expensive attorney is not automatically the best attorney. While you might save some money with a cheap attorney, that savings will be little solace if your attorney cannot defend your interests.
Match Your Attorney to Your Needs
Your choice of a divorce attorney should also fit your legal needs. Do both you and your spouse want to divorce? Do you have children? Have you suffered abuse in your marriage? Do you depend on your spouse’s income? Do you own a business? What about other assets? All of these questions are important to consider when searching for the right divorce attorney for your situation.
Interview Multiple Attorneys
Do not hire the first divorce attorney you meet with. Rather, research several local attorneys who are suitable for your budget and your needs, and then interview at least a few of them who seem a good fit. Do not judge them simply by their advertisements or their website. Meet with them in person if possible, and prepare a list of questions to ask them about their experience, qualifications, and approach to working with clients.
Look for Substance, Not Shine
In interviewing attorneys, evaluate their experience and qualifications critically. Do they practice family law exclusively? Do they have experience representing clients in situations similar to yours? For example, if you have children, has this attorney represented clients in divorces involving child custody arrangements? Do they have trial experience?
As the saying goes, do not judge a book by its cover. A divorce attorney may have a posh office, professionally designed website, or well-pressed suit. They may have represented your friend. They may brag about their high-profile clients like local celebrities or powerful politicians. That does not mean they are the best divorce attorney or even the right attorney for you. Look deeper for a substantial track record and proven results.
Choose an Attorney You Trust
Above all, choose a divorce attorney you can trust at this consequential time in your life. It is critical that you feel comfortable telling your attorney anything and everything. Your attorney needs to know the full truth, no matter how ugly it might be.
Choose an attorney who takes the time to get to know you, your relationship, and your goals for your divorce. Choose someone who you feel is empathetic and understanding but fierce when they need to be. You must have confidence in their strategy and approach for your case.
While your choice of attorney should reflect your goals and values, be realistic about what your divorce attorney can and cannot do for you. Your attorney cannot repair your broken marriage or heal your broken heart. Lean on family and friends for emotional and mental support.
Marshall & Taylor PLLC’s Divorce Attorneys Are Ready to Help
Marshall & Taylor PLLC is Raleigh’s choice for compassionate, experienced divorce lawyers. Our attorneys represent clients in a wide variety of divorce cases, including cases involving child custody, child support, alimony, domestic violence, and property division. We understand how painful divorce can be, so our attorneys strive to make the legal process as quick and painless as possible for you.