Appointing the right family lawyer for you is one of the most important things a person will do when facing divorce. Some people will chose the solicitors they have always used for other legal tasks, like selling a house. Others will go on the recommendation of a friend. But what you really need to do is ask: what do I want from a family lawyer – and then search accordingly. It may seem like an additional hassle at a time likely to be packed with emotion and with an endless list of things to do, but it will be worth it in the longer run.
How can you tell if a divorce lawyer is right for you? Well, only you can answer that really. There is no magic formula but there are some general rules that if you follow them, are more likely to leave you with the right counsel.
Can you talk to them? One of the main skills of an effective family lawyer is to be able to listen. It is important that you feel your thoughts, feelings and concerns have been heard by your lawyer. You need a lawyer who understands what it is you are trying to achieve and who is honest enough to tell you, in plain English, whether they think the outcome you are hoping for is possible.
Are they qualified? It is fairly easy to check they have passed the relevant legal exams but what you need to best serve your case is a lawyer who specialises in family law. A general practitioner who dabbles in all disciplines may not have the depth of knowledge and experience needed.
What will they charge? Costs are the area that most people worry about but there should be no reason for that. Charging should be transparent and the lawyer should be able to give you a clear idea of the fees from the outset.
Will you get the service you deserve? You need to know that your case is important to your lawyer and they will give you regular updates on how things are progressing. Everyone in business these days has heavy workloads, but that does not mean that good service should go out of the window.
If you can answer these questions positively about the family lawyer you are looking to instruct, you should be on a good footing from the start.