Let’s face it: divorce can be difficult. You may be struggling with a vast array of emotions about your family separating and feeling confused about how to proceed. Now it’s time to hire an attorney and the options of who to pick for the job may feel overwhelming. Need some help? Get these three secret insider tips for picking the right lawyer for you!
Secret #1: The flat fee retainer is rarely a good idea. Does the attorney you’re considering hiring off a flat fee for your divorce? Sure, it is tempting for prospective clients to pay one fee, one time for their divorce. They imagine not having to worry about mounting legal fees or getting a large bill for attorney’s services in the mail. But, it is nearly impossible to fully predict the cost of a divorce from start to finish. What may seem like a simple divorce at the outset, may blow up into a trial down the road. And, if your attorney has spent your one-time fee, he or she is more likely to put less time and attention toward your case six months into your matter. On the other hand, what if the flat fee you pay at the beginning is extremely high and your case ends up being extremely simple? With a flat fee retainer it is very unlikely a refund will be forthcoming.
Secret #2: Mediation or Collaboration are in everyone’s best interests. You may find yourself interviewing an attorney who simply wants to litigate at every turn. They feel the need to be constantly at battle and do not stress the importance of negotiation to their clients. However, this approach, especially in New Jersey helps no one, except the attorney looking for more fees. New Jersey courts have long favored mediation, so much so that people going through divorce are court mandated to attend several types of mediation sessions. Find an attorney who is willing and able to help you negotiate your differences as much as possible. Many attorneys are also trained mediators and more and more attorneys in New Jersey are becoming trained in the collaborative method of divorce where all parties and their attorneys agree to avoid court litigation.
Secret #3: Find an attorney who feels like a good fit. Don’t base your decision about whether or not to choose a particular attorney based on cost, either low or high. Just because an attorney’s hourly rate is extremely expensive, does not mean that attorney is the “best” or that they will get you everything you want in your divorce, if what you want is not reasonable or realistic. On the other hand, going for the cheapest attorney you can find is not a great decision, either. There may certainly be a reason why the attorney is so inexpensive, including lack of experience with family law. Find a attorneys with whom you connect and who you believe will represent your unique needs. Choose the lawyer who really listened to your concerns and was realistic when describing what you can and cannot expect in your divorce.
The bottom line: there are divorce attorneys out there who are both skilled and compassionate…and by asking a few savvy questions, you can find Mr. or Ms. Right.
Ready to learn more about the divorce process? Please contact us to schedule your confidential consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced family law attorneys.
Get Our Free Download: