Going through a divorce is one of the hardest things to do in life. Going through it with the wrong lawyer makes it almost impossible.
When it comes to finding a divorce lawyer, you want to make sure to find the right fit for you. You want an attorney who will negotiate a favorable division of asset and child custodyresolution, while at the same time maintaining an open line of communication with you through the process. It's not easy to find the right attorney for you, but here are a few tips to help you get started.
Tip #1: A Flat Fee Retainer is Rarely a Sensible Idea
It may be tempting to hire an attorney who charges a one-time fee for your divorce. Many people are concerned about having an extended battle with their spouse, and the legal fees associated with paying a lawyer through the entire process. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for your lawyer to know the full cost of a divorce at the onset of the process.
As such, if your flat fee attorney spends what you paid them initially, and the divorce is still not finalized, they are very unlikely to provide you with the legal representation you need in order to favorably resolve your divorce. Conversely, if they charge you more than what your divorce ends up costing, it is extremely unlikely you will see any kind of refund. While a flat fee retainer may seem more economical initially, it is almost never in your favor.
Tip #2: Mediation and Collaboration is in Everyone's Best Interest
As much as you may want to "stick it" to your soon-to-be ex, it is rarely a good idea to ignore the possibility of mediation and compromise. New Jersey courts greatly favor the mediation process, to the point that they mandate divorcing couples to attend mediation sessions. The only person that benefits from a drawn-out divorce battle are the attorneys, it wastes the court's time, and costs you unnecessary money and grief.
If you get the sense that your interviewing attorney will not favor mediation, and instead want to litigate every last detail, they are probably not the right attorney for you. Try to find an attorney knowledgeable and trained in the mediation process, so they can help you to peacefully settle your divorce without costing you an arm and a leg.
Tip #3: Finding the Right Fit for You
You shouldn't hire an attorney based on cost, whether it be the most expensive or the least. The most expensive attorney in the phonebook is not necessarily the best, and no attorney will be able to get everything that you want in the divorce if what you want is unreasonable and unrealistic. On the other hand, you probably don't want to hire the cheapest attorney you can find either. There is probably a reason they are comparably cheaper than the rest, whether it be lack of experience in family law, a poor track record, or poor service. If a lawyer is promising you the moon, don't be surprised when they can't deliver.
Your best bet is to find someone who listens to your concerns, and is realistic when discussing what is and isn't possible in your divorce. You want someone who will fight for what you want, but at the same time can be honest with you if what you want is simply unrealistic.
Contact an Experienced Morris County Divorce and Family Lawyer Today
The bottom line is that finding the right divorce attorney can be difficult, but is certainly possible. With a good understanding of what to expect and what to look for, you can find the best fit for you.
The Morristown Family Law Firm of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley is experienced with the unique challenges each divorce can present. Our commitment to excellence means that we will pursue every option available to work towards our client's optimal resolution, whether it be through mediation or strong litigation.
If you have questions regarding divorce, child support, child custody, parenting time, visitation, alimony, asset/property division or property settlements, we can help. We are available for evening and weekend appointments, and charge reasonable rates. Our offices are conveniently located one-half block from the Morristown Green. To contact us, call 973-975-4043.