How to Find the Right Divorce Attorney
Choosing the right lawyer must be done with the utmost attention. It begins with determining what type of legal advice you need. Would you hire a foot doctor to handle your heart surgery? Of course not! Then don’t hire a criminal attorney who does divorce cases on the side. Find someone who focuses exclusively on divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce or have been served: Time is of the essence for you to hire a divorce attorney. But the big question is always: “What type of divorce attorney should I hire?”
Hire a Divorce Lawyer Who Practices in Your Court
Every divorce court has its own way of doing things.
The family court process in Worcester County, for example, differs from the process in Middlesex County. However, even within the same court, individual judges may have different procedures and handle cases differently. At Miller Law Group, P.C., we assign each of our attorneys to a specific set of courthouses. By working in the same places, we develop trusted relationships with judges, opposing counsel and court personnel. We know how things work in particular courtrooms—including who to talk to, who will tell us effective ways to get the job done, etc. We also know how the various judges handle cases and what they look for in divorce cases.
Divorce lawyers talk, judges talk and, for better or worse, a divorce lawyer’s reputation will spread: this lawyer turns everything into a fight, refuses to settle, and won’t allege anything she can’t back up with proper divorce evidence.
The local divorce attorneys we work with already know we don’t bluster and will follow through. That’s why they are more likely to compromise. They also know we advise our clients to conduct themselves sensibly; most advise their own clients to do the same. They also know we won’t fight just for the sake of fighting so they are more likely to work with us to reduce the scope of any dispute. The end result for our clients is that we have a better likelihood of settlement at substantial savings in legal costs.
Watch Lawyers Perform in the Courtroom
Take the time to attend court and observe the attorney at work. Assess his or her relationships and familiarity with the judges, family service officers, opposing counsel and other court personnel. See for yourself how they perform. If you like what you see, you can schedule a meeting. This can be the perfect opportunity for you to get important information about the lawyer and determine his or her ability to handle cases. Divorce attorneys are just like anybody else—some are easier to get along with than others and some have better skills. As in any new relationship, your gut feeling is important; you have to make sure you can trust the attorney you hire.
Check Two Helpful Sources
- Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers: This will not help you find a lawyer, but it will assure you that the lawyer you are investigating and considering hiring is in good standing with the Massachusetts Bar.
- Avvo: This website rates lawyers according to a point system and it includes important information such as length of time the attorney has been licensed and any disciplinary action. It also lets visitors rate attorneys.
Questions to Ask When You Interview Lawyers:
- Of the issues that I have described to you, what is—and isn’t—worth fighting for?
- How often do you litigate versus settle or negotiate your cases?
- How many years have you been handling divorce and family law cases?
- What experts do you work with (forensic accountants, private investigators, etc.)?
- Have you ever had a case like mine? How did it work out?
- Do you encourage or discourage direct contact between spouses during divorce?
- Based on what you know, how would you predict that the judge would rule on it?
- What are your fees per hour and how much of a retainer do you require upfront?
Never Handle Your Own Divorce Case!
The biggest mistake you could make is handling your own case. The Family Court is full of hidden dangers. Action in court is fast and the stakes are high. Court orders have long-term serious consequences and can turn lives upside down if not handled correctly.
You Must Get a Return on Investment
When you are angry at your spouse, you want to fight about everything. But, if you pay $5,000 in fees just to get an extra $50 per month in child support, is it worth it? If your child is 2 years old, yes. If your child is 17, no. You have to keep the big picture in mind. Know what really matters and focus on getting that. Otherwise, you may not get what you want and could end up with a gigantic legal bill.
Contact Our Leading Massachusetts Divorce Lawyers
Miller Law Group, P.C. represents a vast range of clients locally, nationally, and internationally who are involved in Massachusetts divorce and family law matters. Our reputation has earned us the respect of judges and opposing counsel alike. Our attorneys are constantly in court, using these opportunities to continually hone our trial skills. Even when we’re not in court, we’re preparing for the courtroom experience, keeping us a step ahead of other firms. We’ve likely tried a case just like yours before!
For a free, no-obligation consultation to review your divorce matter, call Miller Law Group, P.C. at (508) 502-7002 or contact us online for an appointment by phone or to meet at any of our offices.