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7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney

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In 2020, more than 630,000 couples in the United States got divorced. Divorce can be incredibly complicated, and you want to make sure you have a solid lawyer on your side throughout the process. But how do you go about finding a good family lawyer in Michigan?

There are a few steps you’ll want to take when you begin the search for a Michigan family lawyer. Read on to discover what you should look for and how you can narrow down your shortlist to find the perfect attorney for you.

1. Ask for Referrals

When you get ready to hire a family lawyer, one of the first things you’ll want to do is to ask for referrals. It can be hard to tell based on websites and online listings which attorneys will be a good fit for you. A great way to start making a shortlist is to talk to get recommendations from your friends and family.

Reach out to your loved ones who have recently gotten a divorce and ask them which family lawyer they worked with. Ask how their experience was with this lawyer and if they would work with them again. It can also be helpful to read online reviews, although it’s important to keep in mind that disgruntled clients are more likely to take the time to leave a review than satisfied ones.

2. Look for Experience

Once you have a shortlist narrowed down, it’s time to start taking a look at experience. You want to make sure your family lawyer knows what they’re doing and will get you the best results possible. Ideally, you want to work with someone who has at least ten years of experience, not a newbie to the field.

You’ll also want to check if your potential family lawyers have trial experience. Although it’s not anyone’s ideal scenario, sometimes divorces do wind up getting settled in court. If your situation winds up going to trial, you want to make sure your lawyer has the experience needed to represent you well.

3. Find a Specialist

When you start looking at different family lawyers, you’re going to see some “general practitioners.” These lawyers practice in all areas of law, and family law may well be on that list. But it’s worth making sure that this firm has dedicated family law attorneys who specialize in that area of the law.

It’s best to opt for a lawyer who specializes in family law in Michigan, rather than covering a number of areas of practice. This attorney will be intimately familiar with the latest developments in Michigan family law, including new precedents that may impact your case. You want that level of expertise on your side when it comes to negotiating the terms of your divorce.

4. Pick Someone You Trust

One of the most important factors in picking a family lawyer is actually one that’s hard to quantify. You need to trust your lawyer and be able to develop a good rapport with them. You can hire the best attorney in the state, but if you don’t trust that they’re working for your best interests, all their experience won’t matter.

As you’re doing interviews with your potential lawyers, pay attention to how you feel around them. Do they make you feel relaxed and reassured, like they’re someone you could trust? This may not be the number-one most important factor, but if you wind up trying to choose between two close options, it can tip the scales.

5. Talk Money

Once you’ve found the lawyer you want to work with, it will be time to start getting down to the brass tacks. Sit down with your lawyer and ask them how much they’ll charge and what sort of structure they’ll use. Many lawyers charge by the hour, but some lawyers may offer a divorce “package” that sets a flat fee.

It’s also a good idea to check on what’s covered in your lawyer’s charges. Will they charge you their hourly rate for responding to emails and phone calls? Do they charge extra for postage and mileage, and if they offer a package fee, does that include research time or will that be billed separately?

6. Discuss Details

In addition to sorting out the money with your lawyer, it’s a good idea to discuss some of the details of how your case will get handled. For instance, some of the larger national law firms will assign your case to a team of lawyers, rather than one dedicated person. You may have multiple points of contact, depending on how complex your case is.

Figure out who your point (or points) of contact will be and how often you can expect to hear from them. Ask how you can get in touch with them, including whether they prefer phone calls or emails. And check on how they’ll manage unexpected problems when they inevitably show up in the case.

Find the Right Family Lawyer for You

Divorce can be a challenging process, and you want to make sure you have a strong family lawyer at your side as you navigate it. Start by asking family and friends for referrals, and then check the experience of your shortlist. Opt for a family law specialist if possible, and choose someone you trust to handle your case well.

If you’d like to find the right family lawyer for you, check out the rest of our site at Cronin Law Firm. We are courageous in our actions, confident in our abilities, and compassionate with our clients. Book a consultation with us today and discover superior service and attention to detail.

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