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7 steps to find the right divorce lawyer

scissors cutting a marriage certificateHaving to go through the divorce process can be extremely upsetting and stressful, with the majority of people unsure on where to begin or who to turn to. Few have experience of the legal ins and outs associated with the divorce process, so that’s why it’s important you find a divorce lawyer that you can trust. Finding the right divorce lawyer from the outset could mean a faster, less-stressful and less-expensive process, rather than unhappily skipping from lawyer to lawyer, making everything long, drawn-out and financially more costly. The trouble is - what do you look for in a divorce lawyer? How do you know you’re investing your trust and money in the correct legal firm?

Follow these 7 steps below to ensure you find suitable expert divorce solicitors that are the perfect fit for you:

1.      Choose which divorce process you want to take

First things first, decide which divorce process is the right one for you. Whether you want to use mediation, litigation or collaborative divorce, making this decision first will mean you can begin searching for a divorce lawyer who has experience in that particular divorce process.

2.      Be realistic with your expectations

Divorce is a legal process with the sole purpose of dissolving your assets and resolving custody issues, and you’re hiring a divorce lawyer to represent you throughout this process to the best of his or her ability. It’s isn’t a cheap process, so use your time with them wisely - using them and their time to vent your frustration and anger is a gross misuse of your time and money. In short, don’t think of your divorce lawyers as therapists or life coaches. Be realistic about their role and what you can expect from them.

3.      Remain focused

The goal is to get divorced while maintaining a lifestyle that’s as normal as possible - or at least consistently putting you back on the right track. Do your best to not allow emotions take over forcing you to make bad decisions over trivial things while negotiating. If you do, your divorce is going to take longer to resolve, will be more litigious and will end up hitting you in the pocket more than it would do so otherwise. It isn’t worth it over things that don’t mean much to you in the bigger picture, so remain focused on getting divorced as quickly as possible with as little financial damage as possible.

4.      Shortlist several divorce lawyers

Don’t dive headfirst into the divorce process with the first solicitors you meet. Instead, shortlist several and have a conversation with each before making your decision. Asking friends for personal recommendations is often worthwhile. Make sure they consist of a team that has a wealth of experience in family law and specifically in the type of divorce you think is best for you. You need to choose a legal team that has the legal knowledge and experience required, an ability to help you understand the divorce process, great communication and negotiation skills, creatively solves problems and one that is experienced in your specific court system, so ideally located local to you.

5.      Research the shortlist

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a select few solicitor firms that stand out, do extra research to help your decision. Make a phone call and ask them each about their experience and specialist knowledge. Ask them about typical clients and what sort of rates they charge so you can be sure you’re not wasting your time with costs that are out of your range. If recommended by a friend, delve further into their experience with them. Research the solicitor firm online and read reviews from previous clients.

6.      Be wary of any red flags

Some lawyers will tell you what you want to hear just to get your instruction on board. It may be your life, but to lawyers it’s a business, so don’t believe promises from the get-go. If an attorney talks about previous clients and divulges confidential information from previous cases or shows signs of disrespect by degrading other legal firms, it’s a sign they will potentially show the same disrespect to you. If they can’t focus their attention on you during a consultation, instead taking phone calls and e-mails and generally seem disinterested or otherwise engaged then your case may not receive the attention it requires and deserves.

7.      Making the choice

Ultimately, for the divorce process to run as smoothly and cost-effective as possible your divorce lawyers should be local, professional, highly knowledgeable, responsive and great at communicating with you. They will support your outlook and back your expectations while making you feel as comfortable as possible about the situation. They will recognise what’s important to you, fall within your budget and do all that they can to reduce the stress and deliver the best outcome.

There are no guarantees in the divorce process, but if you follow these steps, you’ll make finding the right divorce lawyers for you an easier task.

If you’d like to discuss any aspects of family law or learn more about the other legal services that we offer here at Fonseca Law, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert legal team. Call us today on 01495 303124, e-mail or complete our online contact form.