- Do you feel like your divorce lawyer is taking advantage of you?
- That you can’t talk to him or her without paying several hundred dollars?
- They nickel and dime EVERY little expense?
- And don’t seem to be making any progress?
It may be time to change your lawyer.
But how do you find a better lawyer?
There are many issues to consider when finding a divorce lawyer. The best lawyer for one person may not be good for another. Do you want an aggressive lawyer? That might depend on the lawyer your spouse is hiring, as well as what assets are involved. Are there children involved? If so, your case involves much more attention to long-term planning and a detailed settlement.
There are a number of places to look to find a good lawyer.
Talk to other lawyers you may already use that you like and trust, such as a personal injury lawyer or estate lawyer. They will have some insight and be able to make recommendations.
Research online. Go to legal websites such as Avvo, Martindale and Nolo, as well as on general sites like searching Google Places. When you have some names, check out their websites and also make sure they are in good standing with the American Bar Association.
Once you have some names, it is important to understand your needs and the type of lawyer best for you. Do you have no kids and modest assets? Then paying $600/hour is probably not worth it or necessary. Set up a consultation and make sure to ask about a fee schedule so there are no surprises.
Once you have a lawyer, it’s important to check your lawyer bills and monitor the expenses. Some tips:
- Keep a log of all communication—emails, phone calls and meetings—with your lawyer
- Always refer back to the retainer agreement when you are unsure of a fee
- Monitor your lawyer’s billing on court appearances.
You probably have questions, maybe some specific to your case. If so, please give me a call. I can help answer your questions and provide some assistance.
Look for our upcoming article: Fee disputes and malpractice