It is amazing to me how many people hire a divorce attorney by simply using a Google search. This decision is one of the most important decisions a person can make in their life. You are choosing an individual to protect both you and often times your children’s future in an adversarial process which can govern the disposition of your assets, your future earnings, and the lives of your children. This affects the most personal areas of your life.
There are many common mistakes people make when looking for a divorce attorney. Here is a list of three common mistakes people make when looking for a divorce attorney:
1. I want to hire a “pitbull” attorney; Most of the time the “Pitbull” attorney is a less than effective advocate on your behalf. The other attorney’s in the area are typically well aware of the “pitbull” attorney and know well in advance how to neutralize that person. In addition the Judges typically are aware of this style and typically know to disregard a great deal of the rhetoric coming from this attorney’s mouth. Lastly often times this “Pitbull” becomes much more docile when discussing matters in the Judge’s chambers, thus losing credibility in their courtroom arguments.
2. Shopping for an attorney solely based upon price; In selecting an attorney resources is a very important consideration, however it should not be a sole consideration. We get several clients each year who have chosen the wrong attorney because the attorney was a little cheaper. The caveat here is that you will typically get what you pay for. It is often more expensive to fix a situation caused by the “cheaper attorney” than it would have been to simply hire the right attorney the first time around.
3. “I hired this attorney because my parents said he got a great deal for my cousin”; This may be true and the attorney may be a wonderful attorney, however you need to go and shop for yourself and hire an attorney you feel comfortable with. That being said referral from a trusted source is a great way to begin an attorney search, but not a sole reason to hire an attorney.
So what should you look for when hiring a divorce attorney? First thing you should look for is an attorney who practices family law as their primary practice. This is very important because family law issues take place before family court judges who become familiar with family law practitioners. In addition these attorneys will be more familiar with the Judges as well as updates in family law matters, laws, and current caselaw.
Another thing to look for in a divorce attorney is an attorney you feel comfortable with. This is a person you must tell the truth and the whole truth to. You must feel that there is a connection between you and this attorney. If you do not feel that comfort level with your attorney there is a good chance you will be unhappy with the results obtained. I often tell people that divorce is a team sport, the attorney handles the objective end and the client handles the emotional end of things.
Lastly does the attorney have time for your case? How many cases is he or she actively handling right now? Do not be afraid to ask these questions. There is nothing more frustrating for a client than to hire an attorney and not receive answers to questions, not receive return phone calls and be left in the dark on legal matters.
It is important to remember that you are hiring the attorney to represent your interests. You need to choose wisely as this could be a great decision or it could become a costly mistake.
At The Law Office of Michael E. Thomas PLLC we have time for our clients, we return calls, and we strive for our client’s comfort in dealing with difficult situations. Feel free to contact The Law Office of Michael E. Thomas PLLC at (248) 855-6477 if we can be of service.