The mere thought of a divorce is difficult for most of us. However, if you are going to divorce, picking the “right” divorce attorney for your case is the way to avoid wasting money and going through multiple attorneys because you are perpetually dissatisfied. Often, the “best” divorce attorney—who may have handled every case from international parental abduction to a multi-million-dollar marital estate—is not necessarily the “right” divorce attorney for you. Equally, the best divorce attorney by ranking or for your friend’s divorce may not be right for your case either. This blog focuses on 3 key or fundamental considerations you must make in your decision to choose the “right” and “best” divorce attorney--for you.
Know what you want and stay focused on the legal objectives. With divorce, children often hang in the balance and both parents want custody, and/or financial circumstance and lifestyle can change dramatically. The fear and emotion associated with these realities operate in every case (assuming there are children). However, there are often other non-legal dynamics, such as infidelity, that may cause a spouse to want “revenge”. Ultimately, all this does is increase the cost and duration of the divorce, leaving both spouses with less financial resources to divide and takes an emotional toll. To avoid this yourself, you need to understand the laws and presumptions applicable to your case and be realistic on what you are likely to get, accept it, and move down the legal path to dissolution. If you allow the fear, emotions, and other wounds of the marriage control and do not stay focused on what you want and why, you are likely to be frustrated, spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, and years in court.
Pick counsel whose skills match what you need or would like to accomplish. If you are entering a divorce “war zone” custody case, your needs for legal counsel may be much different than if you are divorcing without children and have as the sole marital asset a family-owned business. By asking around, looking at firm/attorney profiles, and accessing other digital resources, you will start your educational process to decide what you need in an attorney. Then select a divorce counsel whose skills match your legal needs---this is the right attorney for you.
Understand the attorney’s role and nature of your relationship. On your best day in court, your divorce attorney will get you the closest to your legal goals in the shortest time for the least amount of legal fees. However, the process is not a pleasant one and you will have doubts or disagreements with your counsel as you go along. Understanding this is part of the process and disagree, decide (you decide the legal objectives—even if they are ones you will likely lose at trial), and move toward closure. You want your divorce attorney (inside the confines of his or her office) to be frank with you. He or she has heard and seen it all.
Thus, do not be offended or taken aback if your attorney advises you your goal, such as that the other parent have little or no parenting time, is not realistic, listen and accept it, or talk through it and have them advocate your position as well as it can be. Do not just attorney-jump because what you want is statistically unlikely and your attorney tells you so. No one “wins” in divorce, even the attorneys who deliver such news. This is the role of your attorney—to help you get the least “bad” outcome. No litigant ever finishes a divorce and thinks he or she won!
Ultimately, if these considerations are how you filter potential attorneys, then you will pick the “best” and “right” attorney for your case. This will obtain the maximum for your legal investment, reduce emotions and stress, and shorten the duration of the case. This is what having the “best” and “right” divorce attorney means to litigants who best move past divorce into the next chapter of their life. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle divorce cases of all complexities throughout Indiana. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.