Divorce proceedings can be stressful, emotionally draining and expensive. The decision to divorce, and hiring legal counsel, is likely one of the bigger decisions a person makes in his or her life. Taking your time during hiring avoids costly mistakes, because when hiring a divorce lawyer, some mistakes are bigger than others. Here are three of the more common and yet biggest mistakes to avoid when hiring a lawyer:
Not hiring a specialist. A divorce lawyer should be just that – a divorce lawyer, not an estate lawyer or a contract lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer. Divorce and family law have become legal specialties; so hiring a general practice lawyer is not a good idea, either. The divorce attorney should be specialized in family law and divorce law.
Hiring an attack shark divorce lawyer. Hiring the meanest lawyer in town because of his or her reputation as someone who goes for the throat is always a mistake. Such a lawyer may be more interested in maintaining his reputation as a man who makes the kill. A good divorce lawyer should be assertive enough to represent the client’s interests in the courtroom should it become necessary, but he or she should also be able to recognize when a settlement would be more in keeping with the client’s best interests.
Hiring a lawyer simply because he or she is sympathetic. Divorce makes clients into emotional wrecks, but the client needs a lawyer who can “cast a cold eye,” and balance rational business sense with outcomes most beneficial to the client. A sympathetic attorney is pleasant, but this should not cloud the client’s judgment for finding the attorney most competent for the job.