Your choice of divorce attorney is probably the most important decision you will make in your divorce case. Ideally you want an attorney who is dynamic, sensitive to your budget, and is proficient at achieving an early settlement. If you play your cards right and do the research you can obtain a divorce lawyer well qualified for your divorce case.
Interview at least three (3) Los Angeles divorce lawyers. While a recommendation from your neighbor, hairdresser, or associate is nice, it is wise to not act from that advice alone regardless if it is positive or negative. By all means still consider that attorney but don’t make the mistake of dropping an attorney because of negative advice, during divorce cases a person’s judgment is often affected by adverse emotions and anger. A great resource to utilize in your search for a good divorce lawyer is your local bar association or a reputable attorney directory such as Avvo.
Even though your mind and emotions might be frazzled in the midst of a divorce don’t be the client who comes in intimidated by an attorney’s implied status or reputation. Also, don’t go into the divorce lawyer-client interview thinking that this attorney is your only hope at obtaining quality representation for your divorce case. If you go in with an un-empowered attitude like that your chances of hiring a good divorce lawyer will be slim. It is your money that you will be giving to a divorce attorney and such you have the right to make reasonable inquiries.
Takes Notes during your interview. Did the divorce attorney really answer your questions? And if so did he/she answer them in a way that is clear and understandable to you? If not this should raise a negative flag. You don’t want to go through the divorce process being confused by your divorce lawyer’s counsel. It is not your job to be proficient in legal terminology, that’s your attorney’s job. They should be able to explain the everything to your understanding no matter your background.
Choosing a certified specialist is best practice. These divorce lawyers have passed a rigorous examination in family law and obtain substantial peer reviews to achieve their family law certification. It is certainly possible that there are attorneys proficient in family law that have not obtained the status of being a certified specialist. However, in this scenario you should ascertain what percentage of their cases and were actually divorce and family law. Attorneys who superficially practice divorce and family law matters should definitely be avoided. If an attorney tells you that he/she doesn’t normally handle divorce case but they will make an exception, you’re next words should be “ Thank you, bye!”
A common myth with the divorce process is thinking you will gain a substantial advantage in your settlement by obtaining a more skilled or decorated attorney than your spouse. Be mindful that if you are the spouse with more financial means it is very likely that the judge will order you to assist your spouse in response to the intensity in which you engage.
If, in the search for a good divorce attorney, you focus solely on skill or decorated accolades there is still room for you to be misled. While certified specialist are most certainly good and competent lawyers, that fact alone won’t negate the possibility of your or your spouse’s attorney unnecessarily lining their pockets at your financial expense.
You need a skilled and sincere attorney who will win you the best possible settlement afforded by California law and in the shortest time possible.
It is difficult to settle a case with a party that lacks competent legal advice. As mentioned before, the more a divorce case drags on the more it will cost you. Worst case scenario being a “pro per” situation where a self-litigant makes the settle process difficult do to their ignorance of law and their emotional whims. A competent and sincere attorney will deter you and your spouse from making irrational decisions based on heightened emotions.