A blog about “how do I find a good divorce lawyer” written by an attorney is humorous in many ways given all of the jokes and old sayings about lawyers. The first, is no one wants a good attorney and wishes they didn’t exist until, of course, they themselves need a good lawyer. The phrase is a bit sobering for that person at that time—particularly those who are so vocal about some attorneys, such as criminal defense attorneys. Then of course there is the universal joke about what you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean—a good start. Nevertheless, there are several lawyers who are highly skilled in their practice. This blog explores ways to find a good divorce lawyer.
A good place to start in your search for a divorce lawyer is to ask family or friends who are lawyers who they would select to represent them in their hypothetical divorce case. These individuals interact with lawyers professionally every day. In addition, many have attended continuing education taught by lawyers they respect and would consider representing them in their divorce. Lawyers who teach in their field are likely doing so because they are accomplished and respected in their legal abilities.
If you do not have a lawyer referral source, the internet provides numerous attorney ads. While “everyone” is on the internet, there is a concept in legal research called multiple source verification. In essence, when an attorney is searching for a case (or statute) and keep coming across the same name, that generally means they have found a good case. The same applies to internet research on attorneys.
Another excellent source to ask (if this applies to you) is if you have a therapist, who they recommend. In most cases, therapists have numerous clients who have gone through divorce and likely have heard the good and bad about a number of attorneys. These attorneys at least are worth consulting with to see if they are the right fit for your case. Even the best divorce attorney may be inconsistent with your personality. Given you will walk through the proverbial bowls of hell with this counsel, you need an attorney of like mindset.
While it may sound strange, family, friends, and acquittances who have horror stories about opposing divorce counsel may be worth listening to and exploring why they didn’t like that counsel. Ask! If it’s because they trounced their attorney, you may well be on the way to a solid divorce lawyer to represent you. However, if the reason they did not like that counsel was questionable behavior you may do well to pass on that counsel.
Also, it is imperative that you take your time doing your research on your prospective counsel. There is nothing worse that changing counsel in the middle of a divorce case. This is expensive as successor counsel has to get up to speed on your case. Further, some case information will still be lost no matter how hard successor counsel tries to catch up. In addition, it is a “red flag” when litigants have had multiple divorce counsels. This may reflect that litigant is unreasonable or otherwise and many attorneys may not take such clients.
Finally, important if you choose to change counsel, you do so as soon as possible and also make sure successor counsel has ample time to “catch up” on the case before any hearing. Also, it is important to pick a domestic lawyer that meets the needs your case has. If you have no children and few assets and liabilities, it probably does not make sense to retain domestic counsel that is $500 per hour. This is the military equivalent of sending in an F-16 to drop a 500 pound bomb to kill a fly. Think about your legal needs and budget and make a prudent choice.
This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. who practice domestic relations law across Indiana. This blog is intended to provide general educational advice to make you a more educated and better legal consumer. It is not written to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. It is not legal advice. It is an advertisement.