Divorce is a common factor in today’s world. In the United States, 41% of first marriages end in divorce. That rate climbs to 60% for second marriages and 73% for third marriages. One million people separate or file for divorce nationwide. If you find yourself in the position of looking through information for divorce lawyers, here are some tips to help you through.
- Keep your plans to yourself. Depending on your situation, you may need to keep your plans secret from your spouse. If you have any suspicion they will stop living up to their obligations when they learn you are talking to divorce lawyers, do not let them know. Err on the side of caution when it comes to this, people are very unpredictable when it comes to situations like this.
- If you have children, make sure your lawyer is a family law attorney. Family divorce lawyers may have other resources or recommendations than other divorce lawyers. If you have children, you need to take their needs into consideration. It might be a good idea to get them into counseling. The divorce process can be very upsetting and traumatic for children. These children have higher high school drop out rates and fewer kids with divorced parents are more likely to skip going to college. This will add stress for you, too so you should consider doing what you can to address how the situation impacts your mental health.
- Get recommendations from friends and family. You probably know at least one couple that has split up. Ask your friends and family for a recommendation. Ask not just about the final result but how the divorce lawyer was to work with. You need someone who will be supportive throughout. Look on Yelp and Facebook for reviews. This is more impersonal but will give you some insight into how their past clients have felt about them.
- Make a budget. Divorce lawyers can be pricey. Be realistic about what you can afford and what you think your spouse is going to do. Ask around about prices, the most expensive may not be the best and your cheapest option may end up costing more in the end so keep that in mind.
- Be prepared at your first consultation. Your divorce attorney will need to know as much about you, your situation, your finances, your marriage, everything. Bring as much with you but also pay attention to how the divorce lawyers listen and interact with you. Prepare a list of questions for them. How much experience do they have in dealing with cases like yours? What kind of timeline do they think this will take? If you have children, are they a child custody lawyer? Do they have experience with that? What do they realistically think your chances are of obtaining the outcome you want? Divorce lawyers are not psychologists nor are they therapists but you need to be able to confide in them and feel comfortable telling them some pretty personal things. If you cannot do that, your relationship will not be as effective and you should go someplace else.
Divorce is never fun but the right legal representation can make the process easier on you and your family.