Things You Should Know When Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

marriage certificate
When the Marriage vows don't last

 Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

Getting a divorce could be one of the most stressful and painful times of your life. Divorce triggers many emotions, and often, these emotions build-up, leaving you feeling emotionally drained. Many questions run through your mind, and perhaps one of them is about finding a divorce lawyer.

Divorce lawyers provide legal advice on the termination of marriage, including child custody, division of assets, and more. Divorce proceedings can be complicated and a good divorce lawyer can help you navigate the complex maze of the legal system. So, how do you choose the right one for you?

Tips for Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

Marriage divorce lawyers
How to prepare for an initial consultation with a divorce attorney

Every marriage is different, and so is every divorce. Everyone has a unique situation, and you need a lawyer that fits your unique situation and needs. There is no magic trick or mathematical formula to find the right divorce lawyer. You will need to research, have realistic expectations, and ultimately pick one who you think suits your needs the best. However, knowing a few things could make choosing a divorce lawyer easier.

Understand what your lawyer does

First of all, you need to pick someone who specializes in family law. However, that is not enough. Before finalizing a lawyer, you need to ensure that they have enough experience handling the type of divorce that you want. Yes, you got that right. 

There are seven types of divorces:

  • Contested divorce

If you and your spouse do not agree on child custody, alimony, or property division terms, then a contested divorce may be the right choice for you.

  • Uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce may not require court litigation. It is also called a friendly divorce because the terms of the divorce are agreed upon amicably.

  • No-fault divorce

Do you or your spouse not agree to the divorce? You do not need to prove your spouse's wrongdoing in court. It is the right option for couples citing irreconcilable differences.

  • At-fault divorce

An at-fault divorce may be the best choice when one or both spouses have done some wrongdoing. The faults may include adultery, spousal abandonment, emotional or physical abuse, prison time, and more.

  • Summary divorce

If you and your spouse do not have children and have limited assets, you may opt for a summary divorce. The spouses work to settle their divorce amicably.

  • Default divorce

If one of the divorcing parties fails to appear in court, a default divorce is awarded. The non-responding spouse is considered to be in default.

  • Limited divorce

A limited divorce is not a divorce, legally. It is more like a legal separation. It is best for couples who need more time to fix their financial and legal issues. A limited divorce is generally ordered by the court.

Besides the above, you may also opt for divorce mediation in Florida. You will need to choose a divorce lawyer according to the divorce process that you plan to go through.

Be realistic

meeting with a divorce lawyer for the first time
Lawyer consultation for divorce

Your lawyer is not your therapist. Their job is to handle the legal process of divorce and not help you deal with your pain or anger. It is also not your lawyer's job to tell you whether you should get a divorce or not. That is your decision to make. What may seem like a super important matter to you may seem trivial to them, in terms of legal proceedings.

It is, however, your lawyer's job to guide you on what the best divorce process would be for your case. Their job is also to explain what the process entails and how to go about it. However, the services of your lawyer do not come for free. You cannot simply pick up the phone and call them simply to vent out your emotions. Doing so may incur charges, and you do not want your divorce to become more expensive than it already is.

Being realistic about the role of your divorce lawyer is very important so that you set the right expectations.

Research the Divorce Lawyer Online

Thanks to the Internet, it is easier to find information about lawyers than it was before. 

A simple Google search will reveal a lot of information about divorce lawyers. You can find out about: 

  • the kind of law they practice, 
  • how long they have been a licensed attorney, 
  • how long they have been practicing, and more. 
  • You may also be able to find out the kind of issues the lawyer has handled.

All such information will make it easier for you to choose the right divorce lawyer for you. It is recommended that you work with a local divorce lawyer. Being local, the divorce lawyer would be much more familiar with state and county divorce laws. They will also be more familiar with local judges and legal officials. Say, you live in Miami, Florida. You should try and look for family law attorneys in Miami.

Look for one within your Budget

Most divorce lawyers charge you by the hour and not a flat fee. That's why it is important to consider your budget when hiring a lawyer. If you are in for a high-conflict divorce, it may take longer, and so your lawyer bills may be high. Some lawyers offer paid consultations, and some offer the first consultation for free. Be sure to check before you set up an appointment.

However, hiring an expensive attorney does not mean that you get the best results. Higher rates show that they have more experience, but it does not change the outcome of your case. Similarly, picking a lawyer only because they are charging very less could also be a mistake.

It is a good practice to consult with multiple lawyers within your budget and to consider the value they offer. You can then pick a divorce attorney with great experience but within your budget.

Whether you are looking for affordable divorce lawyers for men or women, picking the right one is very important. Your divorce lawyer could have a significant impact on your divorce proceedings, and the right one will make the process more smooth sailing.

Author: Alejandra Aguilera is a female divorce attorney and the best divorce lawyer in Florida. Born and raised in Miami, Alejandra obtained her undergraduate degree in Politics and Journalism from New York University and her law degree from St. Thomas University Law School. She is the Founder and President of the Aguilera Law Center and takes great joy in helping people with their legal issues.

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