2. Your potential lawyer’s knowledge and expertise about family law and your situation
Has your family law lawyer given you a clear outline of your rights and responsibilities?
There is a lot of misinformation online and even among families and friends. You want to make sure that
your divorce attorney clearly outlines what you are to expect.
Does the lawyer specialize in family law matters?
You want a person who identifies as a family law attorney, not a “jack of all trades.”
How many family cases have they handled?
You want to know if they have a successful law practice that focuses on family law.
3. When choosing the right divorce lawyer, find out if your potential attorney is “Good” at what they do
Will the lawyer go to court if it is necessary for your case?
There are rare occasions when going to court is necessary. Find out if
your divorce attorney will go in to bat for you, if necessary.
How long does your family law lawyer take to get a case from start to finish?
For almost everyone, having your family matter unresolved is very stressful. This is why you want to ensure that your divorce attorney is an organized lawyer who will be able to pay the right amount of attention to your matter to see it resolved.
Efficient divorce attorneys ensure that your case gets concluded without wasting valuable time.
4. What is the lawyer’s method for getting your matter finalized?
Has your family law lawyer explained the various processes available to resolve your matter (other than going to court)?
- Have they discussed options such as collaborative law and divorce mediation?
- Have they explained the advantages of divorce mediation and the disadvantages of divorce mediation?
- Have they discussed other alternatives to divorce court, such as four-way meetings, mediation/arbitration, and arbitration?
You want to make sure they have provided clear options and direction about how to move forward.
5. Is he/she specifically trained in dispute resolution?
When getting divorced, you know you are choosing the best family divorce lawyer if they are trained in dispute resolution.
Some lawyers for family law have extensive dispute resolution training,
way beyond what law school taught them. Your family law lawyer must
have this additional training if they will be any good.
resolution training teaches lawyers to be non-combative, which is good
for you and your changing family. This means you resolve your matter
quicker, better, faster, and with less money spent lining the pockets of
the divorce attorneys involved.
So many people think that hiring a
bully lawyer is the correct answer. It isn’t. People who hire bully
lawyers go to court much more often.
Has your lawyer described the difference between divorce litigation and mediation?
Often, parties getting divorced think divorce litigation is a better idea than divorce mediation.
At the Better Divorce Project,
we disagree. The other options like mediation, mediation/arbitration
(also known as med/arb), and arbitration are specifically geared to
resolve your divorce matter effectively and for less time, investment,
and stress. If your divorce attorney has been trained with these skills,
this is a step in the right direction when choosing the right divorce
lawyer for your situation.
How often do they take cases to mediation or other dispute resolution processes other than divorce litigation?
When divorce mediation doesn’t work, you can still litigate, but as we said, avoiding court can be the best thing you do for your kids, your finances, and your sanity.
6. The Lawyer’s Billing Practices
Are the lawyer’s billing practices clear and transparent?
Nothing is worse than getting a bill from a lawyer you were not
expecting. You want to ensure they have explained the average cost of
divorce mediation compared to divorce litigation. You want to know what
you are being billed for and how much.
Does your lawyer offer flat fees as an option?
Sometimes it is excellent to know what it will cost from the outset.
Many divorce lawyers are starting to recognize that clients love flat
fees and are incorporating them into their practice.
Do they charge for your legal assistant’s or paralegal’s time?
Paralegals cost less money than lawyers, and they can do a lot of the
leg work on your matter. Find out if your lawyer utilizes a paralegal’s
What is the average cost of this divorce lawyer?
The best divorce lawyers can answer this question for you. When going through a separation and divorce, people want to know at least an estimate of how much it will cost overall.
7. What to expect during your relationship with your potential lawyer.
What is the lawyer’s preferred method of communication with you (email, phone, in-person, virtual meetings)?
You want to ensure you are clear regarding how you will communicate and in what time frames, and that you will be kept appraised of what is happening with your
family law matter.
Top-rated divorce lawyers keep you in the loop.
They have a system that provides you with copies of all documents,
letters, and filed court materials. Will your family law lawyer do this?