Top 5 Tips for Interviewing a Divorce Attorney

By Daniel H Moss, Attorney

Divorce is stressful enough without having to figure out how to find the right attorney. In the sea of available options, how can you tell if you are making the right decision? How do you even know where to start?

The obvious first step is searching on the internet, but a Google search or two alone will not necessarily provide you with the right match for your needs.

Below are my Top 5 Tips for researching interviewing an attorney so that you can make the best decision possible for your specific situation.

1. Referrals
If someone you know has gone through a divorce, ask them for a referral. Also, ask about their experience. Why would they recommend or not recommend their attorney? Even if you are not considering using the same attorney, this first-hand information can give you insight into the process and can help you develop your pros and cons list as you seek counsel for your divorce.

2. Online research
These days, online research is important, but you should first prepare a list of the information you are looking for. If you are reading online reviews, search those reviews for details similar to your situation. How did the attorney handle those situations? How happy were his or her previous clients?

Research online first to find the answers to as many of the questions in this article as possible before you pick up the phone to call an attorney.

Be sure to check your state’s bar website to see if an attorney is listed as being in good standing and more.

3. How long have they practiced law?
One of the first things you should ask or research online about a potential divorce attorney is how long they have actually practiced law. This may be different from when they were admitted to practice law, so a little more digging may be needed to determine their experience and expertise level.

4. What is their main area of focus?
Attorneys specialize in specific areas of law, so you will want to work with someone whose main area of focus if family law. They will have specific knowledge of and experience working in family law and should know the ins and outs, the emerging trends, the potential pitfalls, and more.

Follow up question: Have they handled similar cases to yours? How often?

5. Realistic Advice
Search for someone who will be honest with you and offer realistic advice. They should provide you with potential outcomes so that you are prepared for what could happen every step of the way.

Keep in mind that while you will want to research and review a divorce attorney’s rates, this should not be your main deciding factor. An attorney’s rates are often determined by level of expertise, and if you have the right attorney, a bit higher of a rate can often mean that your case will be handled more efficiently and effectively, saving you money – and potential hassle — in the long run.

Call the divorce attorneys who clear your initial review process so you can determine if will be a good fit. Do they have the experience and expertise needed? Do you feel comfortable trusting them to handle your divorce?

While your attorney can’t eliminate all of the stress of a divorce, you should feel at ease knowing that they are looking out for your best interests, keeping you informed, and being honest with you throughout the process.

Prepare questions before you call so that you can get answers to the important information you should know before hiring a divorce attorney.

As always, if you have questions or are looking for advice about your specific situation, please contact me directly at 248.855.5656 or [email protected].