How to find a divorce lawyer can be done two ways…through doing your homework or through guesswork. Unfortunately, far too many people choose the “guess” option because they don’t want to put in the time and effort.
If that’s you, then you’re in luck. In this article, we lay out four things you can look into when you’re struggling with how to find a divorce lawyer. There is no one way or perfect way of doing things. But what this article and its tips do is give you what we consider to be the fundamental tasks you should undertake when going through the process of how to find a divorce lawyer for your case. Think of it as a starting point.
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How to find a divorce lawyer by location
In real estate, “location, location, location” are often called the three most important criteria. It may surprise you that the question of how to find a divorce lawyer also starts with location. Divorce isn’t like many other areas of law. There aren’t many lawyers who practice divorce and family law full-time and many of those that do also handle numerous other areas of law at the same time including California personal injury, criminal law, bankruptcy and immigration (more on this later).
The better divorce lawyers stick primarily to their local courts. That is how they become familiar with the style of judges, clerks and the local rules and procedures.
Hiring an out-of-town divorce lawyer for your local Orange County divorce case is not always the best choice. Orange County has a small community feel to it and although a lot of people live here, our local family courts can get complex to navigate for an out-of-town attorney (especially an inexperienced one) who is not familiar with Orange County family court, local rules and the way our judges expect things done (which can vary from judge to judge). I have heard L.A. attorneys complain about Orange County’s “procedures” or ways of doing things. I tell them nicely that unless you practice family law here, it may take some time to get used to it.
How to find a divorce lawyer by reputation
Reputation truly is the lawyer’s stock in trade and that fact applies to divorce lawyers as much as any other area of law. Unfortunately, too many bad divorce lawyers give the rest of the profession a bad name. I can honestly say some of the most dishonest and disreputable lawyers I have come across in my career have been divorce lawyers. You may think that will make it more difficult when figuring out how to find a divorce lawyer for your case. Fortunately, that is not true at all. Three simple steps and you are well on your way to making the right decision:
1. Ask for references. It’s not that hard. Ask for 2, 3, 4, however many you think is reasonable. A reputable divorce lawyer will have many former clients who will happily speak with you about the lawyer and what he or she was able to do for them.
2. Look for testimonials. If a divorce lawyer has only a few testimonials or none to share, what does that tell you about his or her effectiveness? Not much. The best Orange County divorce lawyers are not shy about sharing their client success stories with you and the better divorce lawyers may have plenty to share.
3. Ask about specific case results. Look, there are no guarantees in divorce. It’s like life. You can’t predict the future. But that doesn’t mean the divorce lawyer you interview shouldn’t be able to tell you about other cases he or she has handled that are similar to yours. It will help you gain some perspective on the options available to you.
Follow these three steps and the question of how to find a divorce lawyer starts to become easier.
How to find a divorce lawyer by experience
Experience doesn’t mean age. Some of the worst divorce lawyers I have gone up against practiced law for 30 + years. Experience means living and breathing divorce and family law cases and dedicating your law practice to it. While there is nothing wrong with a lawyer that has a practice that may include divorce and another area of law, it is better to have an Orange County divorce lawyer that primarily or only handles divorce.
Now, if you come across someone who handles numerous other areas of law, like I mentioned earlier, you should ask yourself the question – do I really want a general practitioner who handles a bunch of areas of law handling my divorce case? What if I asked you whether you want a general medical practitioner performing your heart surgery? Does that make you nervous? It should. The law practice is not all that different.
How to find a divorce a lawyer by communication
Communication? Yes. Communication means ASK questions. Don’t just sit there and listen to the Orange County divorce lawyer you interview talk about him or herself. Ask questions about every step of the process from pre-filing preparation to the post filing part of the divorce case, from beginning to the settlement or trial. If the divorce lawyer you interview can’t take you through the life of a divorce case and answer your questions about each part of the process, you might have one of two issues: (1) the lawyer doesn’t know the process well or (2) the lawyer doesn’t have the patience to communication it. Both are bad for different reasons.
While the first is obvious, the second is also a serious problem because if the divorce lawyer doesn’t have the patience in the beginning to communicate with you, do you really expect him or her to do so after signing the retainer agreement?
How to find a divorce lawyer?
Please take the time to read our client testimonials. Look at some of our recent case results. Contact us and see for yourself how knowledgable, experienced, solution focused and patient we are. We excel at communication. We work hard for our clients and our clients are happy with their results because of that hard work. Our successful results are not a coincidence. We represent good people with the right intentions. We are selective about the clients we take on and don’t take on your case just because you have the money to retain us. We believe that is a quality that top divorce lawyers in any locality posses and one of the qualities you should expect when seeking to answer the question of how to find a divorce lawyer that is right for your case.