Divorce can be one of the most stressful events of your life, and depending on how contentious your particular situation is, the process may last months or even years. When you consider the sensitivity and significance of the issues, the impact they can have on you and your family, and the fact that you may be working alongside your divorce lawyer for a long period of time, you realize just how important your search for the right divorce lawyer is.
To help you make your decision, below are ten qualities you should seek out in a divorce attorney.
#1: Competent, Skilled, and Experienced
Clearly, you want an attorney who is a seasoned divorce lawyer. But it’s not enough that the lawyer has handled x number of divorce cases. Seek out an attorney with experience in divorce and family law cases that are similar to yours. If your case involves complex circumstances, such as high conflict custody issues, or you have substantial assets or debts, find a lawyer who has handled plenty of these types of cases and is knowledgeable about the issues.
You should also make sure that the lawyer you ultimately choose has a wealth of experience before the divorce courts. The ability to litigate is crucial in the event your case goes to trial.
#2: A Top-Notch Communicator
A solid divorce lawyer needs to be adept at communicating with various parties throughout your case. Firstly, you should be able to communicate with your lawyer clearly and easily. He or she should be open to your questions, and willing and able to explain the law to you in a way that you can understand. Your lawyer should also set reasonable expectations for you about your case, letting you know its strengths, and its weaknesses.
Your lawyer should also be able to communicate persuasively with your spouse and your spouse’s counsel, which facilitates negotiations and settlement. This approach is more desirable than litigation because it’s efficient, and you and your spouse get to decide your future, as opposed to having a judge decide it for you.
Finally, if your case does go to trial, your lawyer should be able to litigate on your behalf persuasively and aggressively before the court in a way that inspires credibility.
#3: In Control and Composed (Even When Under Pressure)
It can be frustrating for your lawyer when things don’t go according to plan. It’s important your attorney maintain composure and a level head, so that he or she can properly strategize in the event you need to change course. Your lawyer must be able to control your case, and not let your spouse’s lawyer or the judge control it for him or her.
When interviewing lawyers, you should ask about their policy on returning your messages to set your expectations. Your lawyer is working on more than just your case, so you cannot expect that he or she will be immediately available when you have a question. That said, your lawyer should respond to your questions in a timely manner, or give you a time frame within which to expect a response. Steer clear of an attorney who is so overloaded with cases or understaffed, that he or she may not have time to dedicate to your case.
#5: Equipped with Sufficient Resources
Find out whether your lawyer has the support and resources necessary to ensure your case isn’t delayed or prejudiced should your lawyer be unexpectedly unavailable. For example, perhaps an associate attorney can cover the hearing.
Negotiation is key to your divorce case. Your lawyer should be able to speak persuasively with the other party to try to settle as many issues as needed without having to go to trial. Willingness to compromise makes the process easier, and less costly for you.
Your attorney should have a plan of action in mind for the success of your case that reaches your goals, and includes contingency plans, if his or her first option fails.
#8: Confident and Strong
Your attorney should be able to stand firm when needed before contentious or “bullying” opposing counsel.
You need to have a sense that the attorney cares about your case, and treats you with respect. If he or she is just looking for a check, then it’s possible that your lawyer may encourage you to settle for less than you deserve or are entitled to. Seek out someone who has your best interests in mind.
#10: Has Perspective
Your lawyer should be able to see both sides (the weaknesses and strengths) of your case as well as your spouse’s. With perspective on the case, your lawyer is able to recommend the best course of action for you to take, and why.
If you’re going through a divorce, particularly if you have minor children or substantial assets, it’s important to take steps to safeguard your personal interests and goals. Aligning yourself with experienced, knowledgeable divorce attorneys can make all the difference in the ultimate outcome achieved. If you need to speak with a divorce attorney in Las Vegas, call: 702-685-5255 and arrange an initial consultation.
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