Whether you are just considering divorce or have already committed to ending your marriage, one of the first steps you should take is to find an experienced divorce lawyer. Of course, that may be easier said than done if you have never been through the divorce process. To get you started, Fort Worth divorce lawyer Jon Boyd offers some questions to consider when choosing the right divorce lawyer for your divorce.
Do you anticipate a contentious divorce? Although it is impossible to know with certainty how adversarial your divorce will be, most people have a fairly good idea from the start whether their divorce will be amicable or adversarial. If you predict a contentious divorce you will need a divorce lawyer who has experience litigating contested, contentious divorces.
Do you have minor children? No matter how amicable a divorce may appear to be, when minor children are involved the risk of the divorce becoming adversarial increases. Even if it remains amicable, there are a number of issues relating to the minor children that must be worked out in a Parenting Plan that must then be approved by the court. Make sure the lawyer you choose understands your needs and vision where your children are concerned.
Do you have significant assets? While spouses can fight over the children’s appliances in a divorce if they are determined to do so, the reality is that a high asset divorce is more likely to involve disputed issues because there are more valuable assets to divide. If a business is involved, you may need an expert to come in and provide a valuation of the business. Look for an attorney with experience in high value divorces.
What are your top priorities? No one really “wins” in a contested divorce; however, knowing what your most important priorities are can help keep the negotiations moving in a contested divorce. For example, is walking away with sole conservatorship of your children the number one priority or is keeping a specific asset crucial to you? Make sure you know what your priorities are and look for an attorney that understands those priorities.
Do you know anyone who can provide you with a recommendation? Before you start looking elsewhere, ask family members, friends, and even work colleagues for a recommendation. There is nothing like first-hand experience with an attorney by someone you trust to provide you with a recommendation or warning about hiring that attorney.
Have you done your research? Browse the websites of divorce lawyers near you to find out as much information as possible about prospective attorneys. Years of practice, practice areas, and even basic philosophies when handling cases can typically be found by doing this research.
Have you checked with local or state Bar Associations? You can also contact local or state Bar Associations for referrals. For example, the Tarrant County Bar Association has a lawyer referral service that can help you locate divorce attorneys near you.
Are you comfortable with a lawyer and his/her staff? When you finally make a consultation with two or three divorce lawyers, make sure you come prepared with specific questions you need answered. Afterward, ask yourself if you were comfortable with the lawyer and with his/her staff. Divorce can be a highly emotional and time-consuming process. One of the most important criteria when choosing a lawyer to represent you is how much confidence you have in the lawyer and how comfortable you feel with the staff because you will likely have extensive interaction with the staff throughout your divorce process.
If you have additional questions or concerns about the best way to find the right divorce lawyer near you, contact an experienced Fort Worth divorce lawyer at Boyd Family Law to schedule your appointment today.