Are you contemplating a divorce? It is a hard thing to go through but a lot of people go through it. More than 40% of first marriages end this way. The average length of time for these first marriages is eight years. Second marriages have a rate of divorce of about 60%. Third marriages have an even bleaker looking survival rate. Only 27% of third marriages do not end in divorce. If you are thinking about this, you may be looking for divorce advice. You can go to your friends or family but if you want good divorce advice, your best bet is really a good divorce attorney.
How to Find the Right Divorce Lawyer:
- Start with the people you know. Given the number of marriages that end in divorce, the chances are better than not that you know at least one person who has been through the process. Even if they loved their lawyer and say they got the best divorce advice from them, you may not want to use the same person but, at the end of he day, they may be able to help you find someone who will work for you and your situation. What you need to do, is ask and then interview the people who were recommended. The best way to find goods and services has to be getting personal recommendations.
- Talk to a few divorce lawyers. Most law firms will do a first consultation for free. That is their normal way to do business. It gives you both a chance to see if a working relationship between them and you will work for both you and them. You need to make sure this is the right lawyer for you. Take advantage of this time to get all of your questions answered. How much experience do they have with cases like yours? If you have children or there is a business that will need to be divided, you need to know that your lawyer has experience dealing with these issues. Every divorce is different and has its own unique issues, problems and challenges but there are similarities. If you and your spouse started a business, that brings with it a whole different level of complication than if you have to deal with custody issues, which can really elongate the divorce process.
- How comfortable are you talking to the lawyer? This person is going to be in your life for a while and they will be privy to the most intimate details of your life. In the United States, the average divorce takes about one year to complete. During that time, you are going to go through a lot of emotions and have to confide a lot in your attorney. This is not just about them giving you divorce advice but you will have to let them know about the very private details of your marriage. This may also mean reliving some painful experiences. If there was infidelity in the marriage, you will need to go through that again, in a way. You need to be able to trust and communicate with your lawyer. If you cannot do that, you need a different lawyer.
- Make sure you can afford the lawyer. Different lawyers charge different fees. When you are talking to different law firms, make sure you are totally clear on their fee schedule and what they will charge you for everything. You want a good lawyer who will not just draw out your case to increase the number of billable hours they can charge you for. If your case if more complicated, you will probably have to end up paying more but it might be worth it.
Going through a divorce is hard. When you start your marriage, you do so with nothing but hope and expectations for a happy future. Then you grow apart and even if your divorce is amicable, it can feel like you have failed but you have not. Everyone will have divorce advice for you but the best thing you can do for yourself is find the right law firm to help protect yourself as you endure this process.