It’s common to come to divorce without wanting to involve lawyers – especially if you want an amicable divorce. After all, lawyers are known for adding conflict to any situation – while charging an arm and a leg just for a phone call.
So, if you want your divorce to be amicable, you would naturally be reluctant to hand over a pile of your hard-earned money to some lawyer who will only make things worse.
If you want to settle your divorce amicably, there are certain lawyers you are generally better off avoiding. Here are 3 common types:
1. The adversary.
These are lawyers who view every case as a fight. Adversarial lawyers focus mainly on finding ways to attack their adversaries instead of looking for common ground.
While lawyers are generally trained to be advocates for their clients within the adversarial legal system, this can cause big problems when it comes to handling divorces.
A lawyer who focuses on being an adversary generally drives spouses farther apart. This makes it harder to not only reach an agreement but to co-parent your children. An adversarial approach also generally lengthens the amount of time it takes to reach an amicable divorce agreement and legal fees can quickly get out of hand.
2. The Dabbler.
These are lawyers who are either inexperienced or do not practice mostly matrimonial or family law. They might handle a parking ticket in the morning, a probate matter in the afternoon, and in between might work on a couple of divorce cases. The rules and issues in family law matters, however, are particularly unique and your lawyer should be familiar with how to navigate these in your best interests.
3. The Bait and Switch.
These are the law firms where you first meet with an experienced partner, only to later be handed off to an inexperienced associate lawyer who is barely out of law school. The inexperienced associate often spends much more time – and money – on your case than is actually necessary.
Then there are those lawyers you really should have in your divorce. The ones who have your back and can save you time and money by guiding you to an amicable divorce settlement. These are generally lawyers who are:
They have many years of experience and focus mainly on divorce and family law. An experienced divorce lawyer can be very helpful during negotiations.
A lawyer with significant family law experience often knows how to expedite the process wherever possible to save you time, money, and emotional energy.
The settlement-focused lawyer prefers to reach divorce agreements out of court. It is rare that divorce cases go, or should go, to court. Therefore, a lawyer’s primary mission in a divorce should be to help negotiate a reasonable settlement.
3. Exceptional communicators.
These lawyers talk to you in plain English instead of mostly legal-ease. They make sure you understand the divorce process. They can effectively explain the decisions that need to be made and advise you throughout negotiations.
4. Value your input.
These lawyers listen to you and what you want and need in your divorce. They are not in a hurry to offer “solutions” without taking time to hear you out.
As with any professional you rely on during times you need them most, it’s important to choose wisely when selecting a lawyer to handle your divorce.
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