Deciding that a divorce is the best choice for you and your family takes a great deal of introspection and time. But once you have decided to go ahead with the divorce, you then face the possibly daunting task of how to pick a divorce attorney.
Finding the right divorce lawyer might seem like an intimidating duty that comes at you when you are at your most vulnerable, but it does not have to be that way. Here are some guidelines that will assist you in the search for your attorney. Please keep in mind that this is just information and not legal advice.
Qualities of a Reputable Family Law Practice
You know you want a competent, practicing family law expert, but how can you tell one law firm from another? Here are some qualities to look for in a reputable family law practice.
Knowledge of Local Laws
Each state has its own rules, and Virginia is no different. Our state is unusual in that it processes all of its divorces through the circuit courts, so proper filing procedure varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction within the state.
Additionally, Virginia is one of the remaining states that allow for “fault-based” divorces, so if your divorce attorney does not know all the nuances of the Virginia court system, you will be at a disadvantage from the beginning.
A Comprehensive Understanding of the Divorce Proceedings
You want to hire a lawyer who can customize a strategy to fit your particular needs. And when it comes time for your divorce attorney to prepare a separation settlement, you want someone who will conduct a thorough job and will not overlook essential and costly factors such as:
- Financial disclosure.
- Orders that affect a spouse’s ability to transfer or waste assets.
- Spousal and child support.
- Division of all marital assets, including retirement benefits.
Experience and expertise. A quick google search will reveal how long the law firm has been operating in the area and the type of experience you can expect from the divorce attorneys who might be working on your case.
A specialty in family law. You want to be sure to choose an attorney that devotes a good portion of their practice to family law and that this complicated sub-set is not just one choice on a long list of options. If the attorney specializes in criminal law or personal injury suits and takes a few divorce cases a year on the side, you might question how well the lawyer understand the issues that could affect your case.
Steps to Hiring a Virginia Divorce Attorney
Here are three steps to guide you as you search for how to pick a divorce attorney:
Ask around for recommendations. Divorce is an everyday occurrence; almost half of all American marriages will end in one. It is likely that several friends or family members have been through the divorce process and have opinions to share. The trusted advice of your loved ones about quality family lawyers is always a valuable option.
Do your research. The American Bar Association is an excellent resource for finding lawyers in your area, understanding an appropriate hourly rate for attorneys, and various other answers. Research each law firm’s site to learn about its track record, experience, and approach. Take note if they boast any membership in professional organizations, and then research those organizations to be sure they are prestigious.
Interview the lawyers before you hire them. Remember that the lawyer you choose will work for you, and you should treat your conversations with them as interviews. You don’t have to hire the first firm you talk to, and if you spend the time to get to know three or four firms, you will increase your chances of finding the team that will be right for you.
Contact Us Today
Our dedicated and passionate team is here and ready to assist you if you are thinking of getting a divorce or are currently going through a divorce. Call 800-516-3964 or contact us here today.