What to Look for in a Divorce Attorney
Trying to find a divorce or child custody lawyer can be overwhelming. Weeding through the thousands of New York City area matrimonial and family law attorney is a daunting task, especially if your legal action is in its infancy. Knowing what to look for can make the processes much easier.
Practice Type and Size
The most important component of hiring a lawyer is making sure that they practice the type of law in which you need. For instance, if you are facing a divorce, the firm you retain should focus their practice specifically on matrimonial law. The same can be said for child custody or support matters and family law.
General practice attorneys or law firms should be avoided at all costs. General practitioners know a little bit about many areas of law, but not enough to give your case the care and attention it deserves. Your family’s lives are upheaved during divorce, and you should take measures to ensure that their well-being is properly protected. The only way to do that is to work with a team of experts throughout the divorce process.
When starting your search for an attorney, you need to determine what size law firm you are most comfortable working with. Both large, and small, firms have their own advantages, but for a more personal touch, it is recommended you retain a boutique law firm. Boutique legal practices are comprised of a group of lawyers who specialize in a niche area of law, such as matrimonial and family law. These firms are often experienced, and the attorneys are experts in their chosen fields. They have the resources of large practices, but are able to provide their clients with the attention and care they deserve. The more comfortable you are with the law firm, as well as the attorney who will primarily handle your case, the better your attorney-client relationship will be.
Online Reviews Matter
The internet and social media play an ever-growing role in legal actions, providing evidence during trial and even helping ex-spouse’s co-parent their children. But did you know that a quick internet search can help you find the right lawyer for your case?
If you won’t try a new restaurant without reading reviews online, why should you hire an attorney without doing a little bit of research? A law firm’s website can be informative, but sites like Yelp, Google+, and Avvo are great tools because they allow clients to post honest and sincere reviews regarding their experience with a particular attorney. Pay attention to both the positive, and negative, reviews to get a better picture of how a lawyer handles their cases, and their style of representation. You should trust your attorney to handle your action in a professional and proficient manner, while keeping your family’s best interest in mind. The more you know about the firm you retain, the more secure you feel in your decision. Doing a bit of legwork and research prior to beginning your case can make a world of difference!
Consider Experience and Cost
Divorce can have a lasting impact on your finances. With that in mind, a law firm’s cost should play a role in your final decision. Contested divorce matters often feature a prolonged discovery process, intensive motion practice, and countless hours of trial preparation. Legal fees can easily skyrocket, and it is important to keep an eye on your finances during a divorce.
While the cost of a firm’s representation should be a deciding factor in who you retain, you also need to make sure your attorney is skilled and well versed in matrimonial and family law. The lawyer you hire needs to have experience drafting, reviewing, and filing legal documents, while also knowing how to effectively negotiate on your behalf. If you suspect your divorce will proceed to the court room, your attorney needs to have previous litigation experience.
The fear of incurring astronomical legal fees can be strong enough to drive someone to hire a low-cost divorce service, but this move is incredibly risky. These centers are often staffed by underqualified staff who are unable to handle complicated cases. Instead of not hiring the right attorney because you don’t think you’ll be able to afford their retainer fee, discuss the concern during your initial divorce consultation. Most law firms, including Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C., are willing to work out a payment plan with their clients.
Your attorney needs to be easy to communicate with, both in person, over the phone, and through e-mail. You need to feel secure knowing that your attorney is experienced enough to handle your case, and the only way to ensure this is to through effective communication. Timely responses to inquiries, as well as being able to explain complicated legal procedure and jargon are very important elements of proper representation. You can usually get a feel for an attorney’s communication style during your consultation.
In addition to communicating well with you, your lawyer needs to know how to properly address opposing counsel, court attorneys, and judges. Competent attorneys are well trained in proper communication methods, and are able to remain professional while advocating on your behalf. The last thing you ever want in a lawyer is someone who can’t control their temper and flies off the handle during a court appearance or conference.
Crafting a Winning Divorce Strategy
Initial divorce consultations are a great way to get to know an attorney, and gain a better understanding of how they can help you achieve your desired settlement or outcome. A lawyer must be able to create a winning divorce strategy, customized to work best with the specifics of your action, before you retain them.
Placing your trust, as well as the well-being and financial security of your children, in the hands of a stranger is daunting. Discuss any concerns you may have during your consultation, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you would like something clarified, speak up! Divorce and family law attorneys know how overwhelming and confusing starting an action can be, especially because these sensitive matters are heavy with emotion. The right attorney will be empathetic to your situation, and will strive to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
To learn more about New York divorce and child custody actions, contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. at 718-875-7584, or visit us online today!