Choosing The Right Attorney

Probably the Most Important Phase

Experience in the practice area of divorce and domestic relations should play a significant role in determining whether or not to hire a particular attorney. However, due to the intense personal nature of divorce and the attendant issues of child support and alimony, the compatibility of attorney and client may be of similar importance. In the event of litigation, you should feel comfortable discussing the fullest details of your case and your marriage with your attorney. You should also be able to expect your attorney to be both knowledgeable about you and about the law as it is likely to apply to your situation.

In most instances, you will be required to pay a retainer or 'up front' fee prior to any action being taken by an attorney in your behalf. You should be expected to be billed and to pay such additional amounts which may be charged above the initial retainer. Your attorney will provide you with a fee agreement which should set out clearly the amounts for which you will be held responsible. You should inquire about prospective fees for ancillary services such as copies, experts, investigators and court filing fees.

Keep in mind that a divorce is not primarily a vehicle to punish your spouse, nor should it be the last thing you can ever buy. In other words, do not spend all your money or time in the pursuit of a vendetta or an ill-conceived defense which may cost you far more than you can afford. Your attorney should be able to advise you when, and if, some form of mediation or arbitration will be of greater long term benefit to you than protracted litigation. Unless you pay a single fixed-fee amount for legal services (which may be quite high), the costs of a court battle may outweigh any benefits that you ultimately receive.

Some states provide for certification of divorce and domestic relations attorneys as specialists. Local and state bar associations can provide guidance in this regard. Other states do not permit attorneys to be designated as specialists in this area, but do allow them to list their areas of practice. Recommendations from friends are other possible sources to locate a suitable attorney.

Even if a particular attorney recommended to you does not handle divorce work, he or she will probably be able to suggest other attorneys who do.

Tips for Preparing Choosing The Right Attorney

  1. Carefully select a state to file for divorce. Some states provide more favorable conditions for a divorcing party than others in terms of legislation, ease of filing, and expenses. Nevertheless, before preparing Choosing The Right Attorney, you must check whether you meet the residency requirements of the respective state. Also, it’s important to consider that if you proceed with divorce first in the chosen state, this state usually takes jurisdiction over the legal procedures.
  2. Do a research on your finances and debts. To actually get your fair share after your dissolution of marriage, you need to know better what both you and your spouse are obligated to pay and own mutually and independently. The court requires both parties to reveal where a couple stands financially and submit these details along with other divorce papers.
  3. Think about funds and property division and child custody with your partner ahead of time. Providing you agree on everything, you can indicate it in the marriage settlement agreement and move forward with an uncontested divorce. It’s far less pricey and more peaceful compared to a contested. You can find all the needed documents, including Choosing The Right Attorney required for an uncontested divorce in the US Legal Forms catalog.
  4. Start getting divorce papers. The dissolution process is initiated as soon as you file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Depending on your case, you might need to add more papers later on. You can find the required divorce forms and educational materials on preparing Choosing The Right Attorney utilizing US Legal Forms and its straightforward order option. Based on your responses, the system will put together the state- and scenario-specific papers for you.