A divorce can be a very difficult legal process depending on the circumstances. With help from the right divorce lawyer, however, you can successfully navigate the twists, turns and unexpected roadblocks the dissolution of your marriage may involve. Hire a San Francisco divorce lawyer if your case involves high-value assets or important matters such as child custody. If your spouse is refusing to work with you on the terms of the divorce or has already hired a lawyer, you should get one as well. Choosing the right lawyer for your unique needs is key if you wish to have the most successful divorce case possible.
Identify Your Pain Points
First, make a list of the unique elements you believe your divorce case could involve. Your case may involve child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, high-value assets, a family business, a prenuptial agreement or many other factors. Make a list of your greatest concerns regarding your upcoming divorce. Then, find a lawyer who has experience handling these specific factors. Some lawyers are better at managing high-conflict divorce cases than others, for example. Find a lawyer that excels at your type of divorce or specific legal issue.
Decide on the Correct Type of Lawyer
Not all divorce cases in California require court trials. State laws give couples the freedom to choose from multiple legal processes depending on their unique needs and goals. You and your spouse may be able to settle your divorce case out of court through alternative dispute resolution. This could include mediation, arbitration or a settlement conference. If you wish to work with your spouse to compromise on the terms of your divorce and avoid going to court, hire a lawyer with experience in mediation. If you would rather go to court with your spouse to achieve the results you want, find an experienced divorce lawyer with proven trial experience.
Narrow Down Your Options
Search for divorce lawyers in your area who appear suitable for your unique needs and case type. Finding a local divorce lawyer is important for convenience during meetings, as well as for knowledge of state divorce laws and local courts. Make a list of a few prospects based on the information you find on their websites, as well as conversations you have with representatives when you call the firms. Then, schedule consultations with each prospect to ask questions and get a feel for each choice.
Look for positive reviews to help you narrow down your choices. Positive reviews and client testimonials can demonstrate the lawyer’s ability to meet clients’ expectations and achieve their case goals. You can also ask your family and friends for divorce or family lawyer recommendations. Referrals from people you trust can help you build a strong list of possible contenders. Interview at least two or three different divorce lawyers to find the right one for you.
Know what questions to ask and have a list prepared when you attend the consultations with each of your top choices. First, ask about pricing. Calculate a budget you wish to spend on your divorce lawyer and legal services beforehand. Discuss your price range with the lawyer and find out if he or she is a match, or if he or she offers payment plans to help with the cost. You can also ask about the possibility of making your spouse pay your legal fees.
You should also ask questions about the lawyer’s experience, past cases, common types of clients, whether they have a repertoire with local judges and how long the attorney thinks your case may take to resolve. Ask any questions you may have about your divorce, including questions about child custody or property division. The divorce lawyer you choose should answer your questions openly, honestly and in detail. You should feel comfortable conversing with the attorney. Overall, the right divorce lawyer for you will have your best interests in mind.
If you’re currently in the bay area and seeking an experienced San Francisco divorce lawyer, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with our SF family law attorneys.