How to Find a Good Divorce Lawyer: 5 Must-Have Qualities to Look For

Finding yourself in a position where you’re wondering how to find a good divorce lawyer is one of the most difficult things to realize. As if all the emotional work that comes with getting a divorce isn’t enough to handle, the legal process of divorce can be extremely complicated and troublesome if you don’t have the right support on your side.

Luckily, finding the best attorney is one thing you don’t have to worry about!

If you’re entering the divorce process, your first step to finding a lawyer starts now. Here are the five key qualities to look for in the person who will take on your case.

1. Communication

Communication plays a significant role in how well (or not) a divorce plays out. It’s imperative that all key players in the case maintain a healthy, professional dialogue as all the bits and pieces of the divorce get figured out.

This is pretty hard for the separating couple to do, which is why good divorce lawyers are the ones who can step in and keep the peace. But, the best lawyers for these types of cases will also make sure their client is treated fairly. They will always communicate your side with your best interest in mind, whether in conversation with your ex’s lawyers or with him/her themself.

Such a divorce lawyer will communicate clearly with you and will deliver when negotiating with others. This person will be someone who doesn’t beat around the bush – they’ll be straightforward and direct, but also know when to take the pressure off in order to keep things civil and working in your favor.

2. Experience

Knowing when to take the pressure off in negotiations, or when to take things up a notch, is a skill that is best learned over time. When finding a divorce lawyer, make sure the candidates you’re considering aren’t lawyers who recently passed the BAR

The professionals you’re reaching out to need to have experience under their belt. They should be able to give real examples of the cases they’ve recently worked on, and more importantly, how many of those cases were won. Of course, due to client confidentialities, you can’t expect to get all the nitty-gritty details of past cases, but your potential lawyers should be able to express why they’re right for the job.

You need to be confident that their experience will be enough to best prepare you for the case you’re about to face. If you have any doubts at all, it’s probably best to keep looking for the right attorney.

3. Resources

Just as you should be diligent in your search for a divorce attorney, you should trust that they will also be diligent when working on your case. This person needs to be resourceful; they should leave no stone unturned when forming your case and be prepared to counter any claims or requests that the other attorneys may present them with.

This requires more than good communication and some experience. Consider how big of a firm your potential lawyer is part of and the kind of approach they’re prepared to take on your case. Someone who is truly ready to look at all sides of the divorce – such as the assets, property, investments and guardian rights – is a lawyer who has the appropriate means to do so.

Don’t hesitate to ask how they plan to do what they propose. This is the best way to get more insight into their workflow and more importantly, the resources available to help them succeed.

4. Patience

There are few situations in life that can test a person’s patience more than divorce. So, you need to know that you can rely on the patience of your divorce attorney when your’s inevitably grows thin.

This is a more difficult quality to identify when choosing someone to represent you because patience is best expressed in action rather than in conversation. Still, you need to make some sort of inquiry around an attorney’s patience before deciding whether to hire them or not.

Instead of simply asking, “are you patient?”, or, “how patient do you consider yourself to be?”, ask, “can you give me an example of a legal situation that tested your patience and how you handled it?”. This is the most direct way to get a feel for the kind of heat your lawyer will be able to take during your case.

5. Availability

Just when you think you’ve found the perfect divorce lawyer, make sure you take a moment to inquire about their availability. If this person typically has clients go through their secretary or doesn’t have the best email response time, they may not be the best choice for you.

Availability is key for divorce cases. You should feel confident that you can call your lawyer without much notice during the day for a quick question or concern, and even that they will be responsive to you after hours (within reason).

This is about more than professionalism. A lawyer who is dedicated to the success of their client is one who truly cares about the client. They’re willing to go above and beyond to win the case and understand the value of being available to answer questions or talk strategy.

How to Find a Good Divorce Lawyer for a Friend or Family Member

It’s one thing to know how to find a good divorce lawyer for yourself, but it’s a little different to be on the search for a lawyer to work on a loved one’s case. This is an incredibly personal matter, so usually, the decision is best left up to the person who is directly involved.

If they’ve asked you to step in and support them during this difficult time, feel free to share these tips on qualities to look for as he/she goes through the process of deciding on a divorce attorney.

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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