In this article, we’re going to be looking at 5 things to consider when hiring a local divorce lawyer.
When you or your spouse files for divorce, it’s important that you seek legal representation as soon as possible but, while time is very much of the essence you should never rush into choosing when faced with an array of divorce lawyers in Bradford-on-Avon.
There are certain things to be aware of and to look for in a lawyer. In this article we’re looking at five key things you should consider when hiring a local divorce lawyer.
What Do Divorce Lawyers Do?
A divorce lawyer, or family lawyer, is a legal representative who is hired to handle a number of aspects of your divorce. A divorce can be extremely stressful and can have a significant financial impact as well as raising child custody issues.
Because of this, it’s essential that you choose a lawyer in your local area who has the skills and experience required to help you through your divorce.
5 Things to Consider When Hiring a Local Divorce Lawyer
When choosing your lawyer, there are a number of things to think about and, in this section, we’ll be taking a look at some of these:
1. Legal Fees
Most divorce lawyers charge by the hour and rates can vary widely depending on which company or individual within a company that you choose. Before shopping around for a divorce lawyer, you should take a realistic look at your finances to figure out your budget for legal representation.
Once you start looking for a lawyer, always ask for written confirmation of hourly rates as well as any other charges or fees which may be incurred during the process of your divorce.
Having everything in writing will help you to avoid any nasty financial surprises at a time when you need it the least.
2. Reviews and Recommendations
Ideally, when choosing a divorce solicitor, it’s a good idea to seek recommendations from family or friends but this may not always be possible. In which case, you can seek the opinions of strangers by carefully reading reviews of law firms and individual lawyers.
In the digital age, reviews can usually be easily found online, and these will give you a really good idea of what you can expect from a particular firm or solicitor.
3. Do They have Availability For Your Case?
How much of your lawyer’s time you will need will depend on the complexity of your divorce and so during your initial enquiries you will need to ask your shortlisted lawyers about their availability.
When going through a divorce there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get hold of your lawyer when you need them and so seeking assurance of availability before committing to a firm or lawyer is vital for your peace of mind.
4. Compatibility With the Lawyer
During your divorce, you will be spending a lot of time with your lawyer either by telephone or in person and so it’s important that you find somebody you’re comfortable with. We’re not saying that you and your lawyer are going to become BFFs but, you do need somebody that you get along with and trust.
Most solicitors will offer a free telephone consultation ahead of hiring and you should always use this as an opportunity to gauge compatibility. You may also request a face to face meeting, however, before doing so you should check to see if there will be a charge for this.
During these conversations, pay close attention to the language that your potential lawyer uses – you’re ideally after somebody who uses straightforward language that you understand and not somebody who leaves you feeling hopelessly confused by using lots of legal jargon.
5. Divorce lawyers are not ‘one size fits all’
Not all divorces are created equal – and neither are divorce lawyers. When looking for representation, you will need to have a think about the particulars of your separation and divorce and whether your lawyer can accommodate your needs. For example:
- Is the divorce likely to be combative or are you both committed to keeping things as peaceful and straightforward as possible?
- Are there children involved which may lead to issues of custody and child maintenance?
- Are there large sums of money or property involved which may add complexity to your divorce case?
- Is there a prenuptial agreement in place?
- Is there an issue with property / residence – for example; are you being forced out of your home?
All of these factors will need to be considered and communicated to potential lawyers as it’s important to choose somebody who has the right relevant experience in dealing with complex issues should this be necessary with your divorce.
Things to consider before hiring a local divorce lawyer…
When divorce rears its ugly head, it’s common for people to panic and to therefore hire the first lawyer that they find in the phone book, but this will often be a mistake.
Although finding a lawyer is time sensitive to a point, it’s really important that you take your time in finding somebody who ticks all the boxes in terms of experience, availability and compatibility as well as professionalism.
In many cases, a relationship with a divorce lawyer will be a short but intense one and making the wrong decision can add further pressure to an already stressful situation.