Nearly one million Americans get divorced every year. Depending on the type of divorce, and whether or not it is contested, it may or may not be advisable to hire an attorney for divorce proceedings. According to a Lawyers.com survey, about 60 percent of those getting divorced hired an attorney to handle the entire process, while about 10 percent consulted with a lawyer about their divorce.
Hiring or choosing a divorce lawyer in Texas is typically recommended in cases where there are large or complex shared assets, or when there are children involved. An experienced family law attorney will be able to advise an individual in issues such as child custody, visitation rights, paternity testing, and alimony or spousal support.
If you are considering hiring a divorce lawyer, here are five tips to keep in mind.
- Do your research. You should research and interview several divorce attorneys before making a final decision. Visit their websites and try to find reviews or recommendations of their services before meeting with them to discuss your case. Speaking with potential attorneys in person or over the phone is critical. Important questions to ask include how many divorce cases they have handled, whether they practice collaborative divorce or have been able to settle out of court, and what their current caseload is like.
2. Find someone who specializes in divorce. Make sure you choose an attorney with experience and a proven track record in divorce cases. During your consultation with a potential lawyer, you can ask about past cases. While they may not be able to give you specific details about past cases, you can ascertain whether a particular attorney has experience with cases like yours.
3. Choose a responsive attorney. From the initial strategy session through the final court order, your attorney should be personally involved in every aspect of the case. It is a bad sign if an attorney doesn’t respond to you promptly or is constantly distracted by calls or emails during your consultation. Asking about an attorney’s current caseload, communication preferences, availability, and other attorneys or paralegals who will be working on the case will give you a sense for their responsiveness.
4. Look for red flags. An attorney should never divulge confidential information from other cases, disrespect other parties, treat you or their staff poorly, or make bold and unrealistic promises. In addition, you should ensure that your attorney does not know your spouse or your spouse’s attorney as this could cloud their judgment.
5. Trust your gut. Don’t ignore your intuition when choosing a family law attorney. From start to finish, you should feel confident in your representation and should experience a sense of relief in the midst of a difficult situation.
This blog post does not constitute legal advice. For questions about hiring an attorney for a divorce case, contact the experts at Sandoval Law Firm.
At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.