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How To Choose The Best Divorce Attorney

How To Choose The Best Divorce Attorney

At some point in your life, you’ve likely heard the advice that you should avoid making major decisions when you’re angry or emotional. It’s true. When emotions are high, we're less likely to think rationally. Acting impulsively could lead to costly mistakes, regrets or undesirable outcomes.

While this advice is smart and well-intentioned, it’s not always possible to avoid making major decisions when emotions are high. In a divorce, you have to make high-stakes decisions regarding your home life and your financial future, during an intensely emotional time.

In this blog, we’ll help you make your first—and arguably the most important—decision in regards to your divorce a successful one. That is, how to find the best attorney for your divorce case.

Three Simple Steps to Choosing The Best Divorce Attorney

Step 1: Expertise and results are everything. 

Whether this is your first time hiring a lawyer or you’ve retained legal representation in the past only to be unsatisfied with the outcome, this tip is for you. When it comes to retaining the best divorce attorney, you must select a lawyer or law firm with expertise in handling Rhode Island family law cases and a proven history of results.

While no two cases are exactly the same, it’s important that your attorney has a wide range of experience and be able to help you through whatever challenges come up during your divorce proceedings. If your lawyer seems to be at a loss in terms of working through a challenge, this is often a red flag that they lack the experience you need.

You can and should ask your attorney about past cases and settlements they’ve obtained. These results demonstrate how they’ve performed in the past and give you an idea about what they can do for you.

Step 2: Separate the good from the great with recommendations, ratings, and awards. 

If you search Google for a Rhode Island lawyer, you’ll end up with multiple pages of results to sift through. The challenge isn’t finding a lawyer. It’s finding a great lawyer who will help you obtain the best results for your case.

A common mistake we see is clients who choose a lawyer simply on the basis of how many Google reviews are available. While this approach is helpful, it’s not the only way to discern the wheat from the chaff. In addition to reviews on popular search engines and social media platforms, your prospective lawyer should have outstanding peer reviews.

One of the best places to look to see if your attorney is ranked well by colleagues is to check the attorney’s website for accolades or search online for the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings. Moreover, some attorneys have earned the elite designation of an AV Preeminent Rating. This prestigious ranking is given to only 10% of attorneys for their ethical standards and rave client reviews.

Of course, reviews from past clients and recommendations from friends are also helpful in determining the best lawyer from you. In speaking to friends and family about their experience with Rhode Island lawyers, remember to ask specifically about lawyers who specialize in family law. You want an attorney with experience in all facets of divorce, including custody arrangements, dividing marital assets, business valuations and any other factors involved in your case.

Step 3: Interview your top choices and avoid common pitfalls.

When you’re done with the initial research outlined above, it’s time to meet with a few of your top choices. Most attorneys offer a free consultation, though some might charge a fee for the meeting and credit the cost back to you if you end up retaining them for your case.

Use your initial consultation as a time to not only explain your case but to get a feel for the attorney. In making your decision, consider the following questions: 

  • How comfortable was your initial meeting? Is the attorney someone you can see yourself working with and trusting with personal details of your life?
  • Was the attorney able to answer your questions? Did they ask you questions and seem interested in your responses?
  • Does the attorney have a track record of obtaining successful results in similar cases?
  • Did it take forever for the attorney to return your call and/or set up the initial consult?
  • After your meeting did you feel confident or more anxious than you were before the meeting?

Your lawyer should make you feel comfortable. While this doesn’t mean they’ll tell you exactly what you want to hear, it does mean that they should seem genuinely interested in the details of your case. When it comes to divorce, you need a lawyer who will help you plan, understand what to expect, layout how your case will be handled and tackle whatever questions you have or surprises that come up.

Selecting the best Rhode Island lawyer to represent you in your divorce is crucial in helping you obtain a successful outcome. Hastily selecting an attorney, one without the expertise to properly represent you or, an attorney who simply isn’t a good fit, can be detrimental. When your financial future, the relationship with your children or even the family business is at stake, you owe it to yourself to find the best attorney for your situation.

When it comes to divorce, we have the expertise to help you through this incredibly challenging time. Contact Kirshenbaum Law Associates at 401-467-5300 today.