Going through a divorce is an emotional and often overwhelming experience. Finding the right attorney to help navigate through the difficult process is an important decision that no one facing divorce should overlook.
Here are five things to look for when hiring a divorce attorney:
You Want a Lawyer with Experience
Just like finding a good auto mechanic, you want a professional who has seen everything before. An attorney with experience in divorce litigation will have handled hundreds of cases and have firsthand knowledge of the nuances and pitfalls that come with divorce litigation. Almost every divorce has its quirks and issues, but an experienced attorney can anticipate these hiccups and make sure they do not detract from your ultimate goals. Ultimately, an experienced divorce attorney will be able to minimize the additional stress and pressure you feel throughout the process.
You Want a Lawyer Who Knows the Courthouse
There are plenty of great divorce attorneys out there, but if your lawyer isn’t familiar with your county’s court procedures, rules, or judges, that lawyer may be at a disadvantage. Every county courthouse is a little bit different (and some are downright unique), so a lawyer who knows the ropes in the North Carolina jurisdiction where your divorce will happen is a major selling point.
You Want a Lawyer Who Isn’t Afraid of the Courtroom
In many cases, spouses going through divorce never see the inside of a courtroom or have to take the witness stand. In other cases, litigation over issues involving marital property and child custody can span numerous days in front of a judge. Attaining your goals in a divorce case and reaching your desired outcome may take proficiency both outside the courtroom through negotiation and inside the courtroom through hearings and trials. It is important to have an attorney who won’t shy away from courtroom litigation, if the need arises, to protect your interests. There is no substitute for real courtroom experience, so make sure your attorney is ready to step up to the plate.
You Want a Lawyer Who Is Responsive
Divorces are stressful enough, so waiting for days on end for your lawyer to call you back never helps. Attorneys are busy people, but there is no excuse for failing to keep you sufficiently informed about the status of your case. You want a lawyer who checks in with you regularly and answers your questions in a straightforward manner.
You Want a Lawyer Who Is Within Your Budget
The cost of a divorce is often hard to predict. If the parties are cooperative, the divorce process can actually be quite inexpensive and may simply involve the drafting and filing of basic paperwork. If the parties have issues they can’t agree on, legal fees can quickly escalate and become burdensome. Before hiring your divorce lawyer, talk to him or her about what your realistic expectations should be regarding cost. An experienced divorce attorney should be able to give you an honest assessment of what to expect so that you can budget accordingly.