A divorce is a stressful event for any married couple. The process can drag for a long time. Some run for months or years, depending on the contentious issues that a couple is handling. A divorce affects the couple and takes a toll on other family members, depending on the sensitivity of the issues involved.
If you find yourself discussing divorce or are contemplating to, getting a good attorney can offer you legal counsel as you navigate the ups and downs of the process. While getting a lawyer is a critical decision that you must make, you don’t have to hire the first divorce lawyer you meet.
There are critical qualities you need to pay attention to when hiring a divorce lawyer, even if you’ve gotten referrals from friends and family. Below are six of them:
- Competence And Experience
One of the qualities you need to consider when hiring a divorce lawyer is competence and experience. While you need to get a seasoned lawyer, it’s essential to look beyond the number of divorce cases handled by an attorney. Instead, look for an attorney with experience in divorce cases similar to yours. Checking professional platforms like Simple Divorce and others can help you find an experienced divorce attorney easily.
If your divorce involves highly complex situations like custody issues or substantial liabilities or assets, get a lawyer that’s conversant with such matters and has experience in such cases. The attorney you choose should be experienced in litigating before divorce courts; this is crucial if your divorce goes to trial.
- Good Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is an integral part of divorce cases. A good divorce lawyer can persuade other parties in the case to settle as many issues as possible before the case goes to trial. The attorney you hire should facilitate negotiations and settlement by communicating with your spouse and their counsel.
They should compromise—this makes the divorce process more manageable, which reduces legal costs. Negotiation is a desirable skill in divorce lawyers because it empowers you and your spouse to decide your future instead of leaving that to a judge.
- Ability To Handle Pressure
Another quality that your divorce lawyer should have is handling pressure. Divorce cases can pile pressure on the parties involved. Having an attorney who losses control during such times can be frustrating.
When hiring a divorce lawyer, opt for one that can maintain a level head and composure under pressure. This quality means the lawyer can strategize well if events change course without losing control to the judge or your spouse’s attorney.
- Excellent Communication Skills
A good divorce lawyer should be an adept communicator, capable of engaging different parties throughout the divorce process. You can tell whether a divorce attorney is a skilled communicator by evaluating the questions they ask you after sharing details of your divorce.
A good lawyer should be able and willing to explain legal provisions to you in a layman’s language. The attorney should set realistic expectations about the divorce case, informing you of the weaknesses and strengths. If your divorce case goes to trial, your attorney should have the ability to prosecute it persuasively before the court on your behalf.
- Availability To Respond To Questions
When looking for a divorce lawyer, consider their policy on responding to client queries. While a divorce attorney may handle multiple cases and may not respond to questions immediately, opt for one that prioritizes timely response to clients and provides a timeframe for answers.
Check whether the lawyer has the resources and support required to pursue the case to avoid delays. Avoid hiring attorneys that are overwhelmed by workload or understaffed. Such lawyers won’t have time for your case, and their non-responsiveness will frustrate you.
- Ability To Be Tactical
Pick a strategic attorney—one that has a clear plan on how to reach your goal. Such a lawyer puts in place contingency plans in case initial options fail.
Further, your divorce lawyer should have perspective. They should consider the two sides of your case and appreciate the weaknesses and strengths. The lawyer can recommend the most viable course of action for you and justify it when they have perspective.
If your spouse wants a divorce or you choose to divorce them, you must safeguard your goals or interests. This is particularly vital if you have minor children. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer is the surest way to achieve this. Look out for the six qualities discussed above to get such a lawyer.