DIVORCE 911 consulted with
Steve Shewmaker of Shewmaker & Shewmaker for this blog.
We have a video covering this topic as well.
How you pick a Family Law (Divorce) attorney is an interesting topic. If you’ve had an attorney in the past, one of the first things you can do is some soul searching and decide what did you like or not like about your previous attorney. Generally, when you reach out to an attorney you will call the office. Some offices are structured so that you don’t talk to the actual attorney but instead talk to a paralegal or secretary. Just because you can’t get an attorney on the phone with the initial call does not mean you should rule out that attorney.
You’ll most likely end up in a face to face meeting with the attorney, giving you a chance to feel each other out to see if you are a good fit. It’s extremely important that you can gel or mesh with the attorney that’s representing you. If there’s something about the attorney that rubs you the wrong way or that you find annoying, find a different attorney. Finding an attorney you can handle spending time with is imperative. You are going to go through a long journey with this person.
You need an attorney that will listen to you. Occasionally the attorney might interrupt to focus in on a specific issue and go over it with you. An attorney that understands your goals and desires, being on the same page goes a long way. The initial meeting can be anywhere from 1-2 hours and lots of notes will likely be taken.
You should expect to pay a consult fee when you talk to a quality attorney. This is time and money spent with the lawyer to educate you about your legal matter as well as allowing the attorney to become educated about you and your circumstances. It’s a time consuming mutual process. Most family law (divorce) attorneys will charge an hourly fee and you need to expect this because these cases can be very long and drawn out. Have your attorney provide you with a copy of the discussion notes. This allows you to have something to refer back to. Make sure that these notes include the following: the client’s goals, an outline of the next steps, and what the legal strategy is. Your attorney will believe in complete disclosure. As always, a great attorney should be happy to answer emails and phone calls after meetings.