When searching for a divorce attorney, you're not just choosing someone to handle your case --- you're choosing the person who will be your advocate, counselor, confidant, and ally. Before you begin your search for a great divorce lawyer, here are 5 characteristics to look for:
1. Circle the Wagons
Going through a divorce is a grueling process. Having a close group of support can go a long way to helping you through it. As you prepare for a divorce, take stock of your family and friends. Rely on those relationships and seek to cement them when possible.
2. Assess your Financial Situation
Divorces are expensive. Start by looking at your financial resources, figure out a budget, and stick to it. This process will also help you prioritize what's important to you and may help with future proceedings. If you've set a solid budget and stick to it, you shouldn't ever find yourself in the awful circumstance of deciding whether to pay the car payment, the mortgage, or your legal counsel.
3. Assess your Financial Situation (pt. 2)
One of the main aspects of a divorce is the distribution of assets. It's not unheard of for a client to be completely cut off from their money due to a difficult spouse. Do some research into where your money lies, who has control over it, and how it can be accessed. You'll want to build a small nest egg you can access in case things turn sour.
4. Seek out an Attorney That You Are Comfortable With
Your attorney will be your voice throughout your divorce, so find someone you are comfortable with. There's no reason to make an already stressful situation worse by hiring an attorney you don't get along with or don't trust. Before you hire someone, shop around - find someone who fits you.
5. Mentally Prepare Yourself
There's no two ways around it - going through a divorce sucks. Understand, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel can be long and dark. Prepare yourself to go through a grueling process by taking a moment to think about what lies ahead. But don't get too down - surround yourself with people who care about you, find a lawyer you trust, and you'll be just fine!
Julianne C. Smith, Esq. is a family law associate at the Weiner Law Group LLP, located in Parsippany, NJ. She dedicates her practice entirely to the area of Family Law, including divorce, custody, parenting time,child support, spousal support, and equitable distribution. She offers free family law consultations at her Parsippany, NJ office.