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Traits to Look for in a Divorce Attorney

Traits to Look for in a Divorce Attorney

Not all divorce attorneys are equal in the way they carry themselves, the way they practice, or their price. So how do you know if you have selected the correct representative for your case? Finding the right attorney for your case is important as it essentially determines how your case will be pursued and the final conclusion. The following are a list of traits that are important to look for when identifying the good apples from the bad in the legal bunch.

Continuing Education
Believe it or not the majority of an attorney’s skills are developed outside of law school. Unfortunately, just simply going to law school does not give an attorney real life practice in how to practice the law. In order for an attorney to develop actual legal skills they must actively practice law under apprenticeship. Passing the bar does not actually mean that an attorney is knowledgeable about how to go about pursuing every type of case. Practicing law means that you also must continue your education about updated laws—attending legal seminars. A word of the wise is to avoid any attorney that refuses to admit they do not know the answer to your questions. It is a good practice for an attorney to check legal questions and verify new law to make sure that the legal advice that they give you is correct. The attorney you select should have several years practice and should have expertise in the area of Divorce and Family Law.

Rapport
A good divorce attorney needs to have a good rapport not only with the court, but also in the legal community. Hiring the most aggressive attorney is not always necessary and if an attorney is overly hostile or aggressive it may actually become counter intuitive to your case; making it nearly impossible to work amicably with opposing counsel for settlement. Your counsel’s rapport with the judge is also important as judges tend to dislike attorneys that sloppily throw their case in the judge’s lap. Your attorney should also have detailed knowledge about the judge and be able to predict how the judge will rule on particular issues.

On the Same Page
You and your attorney need to be on the same page and should work together like team players. Your attorney should also be able to rely on other individuals in their practice to assist them in handling your case. A red flag is if you contact an attorney and they do not have any associates or secretary staff to assist them in handling your case. In the event of an emergency it is important to know that another associate will be able to take the necessary steps in court to ensure your case is taken care of.

Passionate
If after your first consultation you feel that your attorney is apathetic to pursuing your case then you should consider hiring someone new. An attorney that is not passionate about your case generally means that they either believe your case is more trouble than it’s worth to them or that they do not feel capable in fulfilling your legal needs. It is important that your attorney is confident and passionate about your case because they need to be in it for the long haul. In reality your legal suit can continue for months or years and your attorney should maintain the same enthusiasm.

Creativity
The attorney you select should be able to think outside the box and be able to predict the opposing counsel’s next move. If your attorney does not play devil’s advocate and trying to see things from the other parties perspective then they will be blindsided in court. Family and divorce law in particular regularly require creativity to make things work and to navigate the legal system.

Writing Skills
Be wary of an attorney that begins writing pleadings or emails that require a dictionary or thesaurus to understand. Good legal writing is fundamental in pursuing your legal case. Generally speaking if you have trouble understanding what the correspondence says then so will the judge. Legal writing should be sweet, simple, and to the point; nobody wants to have to read 10 pages for two relevant points.

Affordability
Lastly, you should always contact an attorney that is within your budget range. Just because an attorney is expensive doesn’t mean that they will be able to represent you any better than an attorney you can afford. Making yourself bankrupt for legal representation is not worth sacrificing your living situation, sanity, or children.

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