What should Floridians consider when hiring a divorce lawyer?
As they prepare for divorce, many people hire lawyers, but it is important that they consider a number of factors to ensure they make the right choice.
In 2014 alone, there were 79,432 divorces across Florida, according to the state’s Department of Health. In order to help navigate the process of obtaining a marriage dissolution, many choose to obtain legal representation. However, there is more to this than just picking a name. There are a number of factors that people should consider when hiring a divorce lawyer to ensure they are choosing the right professional for them.
Like every family, every divorce case is unique. In order to help select an attorney who is best suited for their situation, people should look into the experience and qualifications of those legal professionals who they are thinking of hiring. For example, people may be better served by working with a lawyer who is familiar with the alternative dispute resolution process if they are trying to keep the relationship amicable.
Reviews from former clients
One of the best ways to learn how a lawyer handles cases is to find out what past clients thought of his or her service. Thus, people may find it helpful to read reviews and testimonials, to speak with others who have worked with an attorney, and to call the state bar association to find out there have been any grievances filed against him or her.
The legal professionals who people hire to represent them could affect the resolutions of their cases. For example, Florida state law specifies that marital property should be divided in accordance with the principle of equitable distribution during a divorce. Consequently, an attorney may have to negotiate with the opposition or argue people’s cases before the court to ensure they get a fair settlement. Considering the opinions of past clients may help those who are headed for divorce to choose a lawyer who they feel confident will act ethically and with their best interests in mind.
The fees and billing structures may vary significantly from one divorce attorney to the next. Some lawyers bill by the hour, while others offer flat fee or alternative pricing options. Especially if the budget is a concern, people should ask about the costs of representation and take them into account. Looking into attorneys’ fees prior to making a selection may keep them from choosing a legal representative whose services they cannot afford.
During divorces, it is common for people to work closely with their lawyers, addressing potentially sensitive issues, such as infidelity or marital property distribution. Therefore, it is essential that they make certain they are comfortable and the attorney’s personality meshes with their own prior to hiring him or her. To accomplish this, they may sit down with potential legal representatives to get a better feel for who they are and how they approach their cases.
Making a choice for the future
To many, it may seem that one attorney is as good as the next. However, the legal professionals who Floridians hire to represent them in their divorce cases may have a significant impact on their cases’ outcomes. Thus, it is vital that they use care when hiring a divorce lawyer.