A few thoughts on how to choose the best divorce lawyer for you and your case.
At your initial consultation you should consider these areas:
- Compatibility. This is more about personality than anything else. You will likely be spending lots of time with your lawyer. Office conferences. Court appearances. Phone calls. Some divorce litigants want the “bulldog” – a lawyer who will be aggressive right at the jump. Other clients prefer a skilled negotiator who is a little more cool initially but can turn up the heat when needed. In addition, to personality, you should feel that the potential lawyer understands your case objectives and agrees to pursue them.
- Competency. Maybe the better word is capable. Obviously, you want a lawyer with experience in handling divorces. Ask what % of their practice is devoted to family court work and specifically divorces. And this is only the starting point, From there, determine how the lawyer’s professional experience translates directly to your case. For example – Are they familiar with the particular court where is the case is filed? Do they know opposing counsel? Have they represented clients in a similar situation? If your case seems headed litigation, then inquire about their trial experience.
- Cost. Get an understanding of how you will be billed – retainer amount, hourly rate and at least an approximate range of the ultimate legal expense. Some attorneys offer a fixed or flat fee for uncontested cases – yours might qualify. Ask.
- Conclusion. How long will the process take? A seasoned lawyer can give you a fair estimate of how long it will take to get to the finish line.
- Clarification. This is the final point. But it’s as important as the others. If you are not clear on a point that was discussed, then get it clarified before you leave the lawyer’s office. The foundation of the client-lawyer relationship is trust. Trust can erode with a simple misunderstanding. Make sure you are in sync from the beginning.
I represent clients in divorces throughout Fairfield County including Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.