When your and your spouse realize that you can no longer make your marriage work, you face some difficult decisions. The divorce process can be stressful and even hostile, and many people are unsure what to expect. While some couples are able to work out the terms of their divorce in an amicable way, others turn to lawyers to help them navigate the process. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney is usually a great idea, but there are times when there is a bit of a disconnect between the needs of the client and the attorney. Before you select an attorney to help you through the divorce process, we recommend five key strategies for selecting a divorce attorney who will be a good fit for your unique circumstances.
1. Understand Your Divorce Goals
Before you enlist the help of a legal professional to help you through your divorce, it is critical that you spend some time envisioning what you want out of your divorce. Even if the process seems scary to you, think about what your life will look like when you are no longer married. What do you value? How do you see yourself spending your time? What do you hope to achieve? Asking yourself these questions and spending some time journaling or ruminating about your answers to these questions will help you approach a divorce attorney from a position of strength. If you know what you want out of your divorce, you can advocate for yourself and you will have a much better understanding of how your attorney can work with you to achieve these goals.
2. Explore Several Attorneys at First
In the early stages of your divorce, you may be tempted to work with the first divorce attorney you meet. However, settling on one attorney before you have taken the time to explore at least one other divorce lawyer prevents you from feeling confident about your choice. In order to determine which attorney can suit your individual needs, come to each consultation with a list of questions that are most important to you.
3. Evaluate Whether Your Attorney is Compatible With You
Whether you are interviewing a number of divorce attorneys or focusing on one that you believe will be a good fit, it is important to listen to both what the attorney is saying and how they are saying it. Pay attention to nonverbal communication: does the attorney make you feel heard? Do you feel comfortable discussing delicate matters with this person? Do they make eye contact with you and make you feel valued? How does the attorney typically communicate with clients (email, phone, text, in-person meetings, etc.), and does this mode work with your communication style? Remember, the attorney you choose will be privy to many intimate details of your life, so make sure that you feel comfortable in their presence. Compatibility between you and your divorce attorney is key in making this process as smooth and painless as possible.
4. Consider the Attorney’s Reputation and Fees
If your divorce needs to be handled in court, you will want to know the name of the lawyer who will be representing your spouse. If this person is highly regarded by colleagues and judges, you should consider working with an equally renowned attorney who has a solid track record of helping their clients receive the outcomes they desired. During your initial consultation, ask the divorce attorneys about their experience working with the opposing counsel and how they have preformed. Additionally, do some research about the range of fees that is typical in your area for divorce attorneys. As you interview each lawyer, ask about their fee schedule, any retainers they require, and an approximation of the total amount this divorce may cost you. Receiving a transparent answer will help you weigh your options when selecting the divorce attorney who is right for you.
5. Educate Yourself About What to Expect
Many legal professionals have reported that the best client experiences happen when individuals educate themselves about the divorce process. While an attorney should be able to provide clear and helpful support during the process, you should also devote some time to consulting a variety of additional resources that can help you adjust your expectations and calm your fears. When you are actively engaged in your divorce, your attorney will be able to serve you more effectively and meaningfully. It is important to recognize that you are not going through your divorce alone. The attorney you select will offer you the guidance and support you need to feel confident in the new future that awaits you. In addition, you will assemble a variety of resources (blogs, articles, testimonials, and more) that can give you a comprehensive support system and the confidence you need to feel hopeful about moving forward.
Contact a Skilled Vancouver Divorce Attorney Today
If you are in the initial stages of exploring a divorce, you likely have several questions that need answers. John L. Davis PLLC is ready to help you explore all aspects of your situation and formulate a divorce strategy that best addresses your needs. We consider divorce cases from a holistic perspective, integrating business law, real estate law, and family law in our approach. Call our friendly Vancouver office today at (360) 597-4740 to speak with a compassionate and experienced divorce attorney.