The most stressful time in a divorce are the earliest stages. The decision-making process seems to get put on the back burner because there’s a strong want to get it over as quickly as possible. As a result, many individuals end up with the wrong lawyer.
The outcome of your divorce is greatly affected by the selection of your divorce lawyer. Not only that, but your divorce lawyer selection can affect how your case progresses from start to finish in terms of stress for you, your children, the cost, and the length of time it takes.
Many people change their lawyer during their divorce in Ottawa, but this change can cost more than you planned. Here are six tips that can help you avoid making the wrong choice when it comes to your divorce lawyer:
The Earlier The Better
If you are certain that divorce is imminent, it may be worth your time to meet with a lawyer so that you are with one already before things get stressful and you are hit with the papers to file. Otherwise, you might end up choosing the first lawyer you meet because you have very little time rather than choosing one that is the best fit for you. Also, if your significant other meets with a lawyer in a certain law firm before you do, no lawyer from that firm is going to want to take your case because of the potential conflict of interest.
You can’t Google “best divorce attorney” and expect to find the person who has the best skills, rather, you will find who has the best website. Word of mouth is the best way to find a good divorce lawyer. You can talk to financial advisors, therapist, and lawyers practicing in others areas as well as CPAs who will give you an idea of some good divorce lawyers based on people who have gone through a divorce in the past few years. As strange as it sounds, some recent divorcees may refer you to their spouse’s lawyer because they were better.
Hire A Specialist
Ottawa divorce lawyers who have a specialization in law/divorce are the best option for you. They can assess your case the right way because they know the judges and the other attorney. They are also more up-to-date on the changes and trends within the law.
Questions To Ask
When you go for your first consultation, bring with you a list of questions. The lawyer will surely appreciate your thoroughness. Here are some suggested questions you can ask:
- How long have you been in the family law business?
- How do you approach new cases?
- What’s the settlement percentage?
- How do you approach settling a case?
- What is your retainer? Remember, cheaper isn’t always better.
- Is any unused portion of the retainer refundable? It’s not recommended to hire a lawyer that won’t refund unused retainer.
- Who will work on my case and how much will I pay for their time?
- How often will I receive an accounting of my retainer? It should be at least once per month.
After your initial meeting, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you comfortable opening up to that lawyer?
- Did they intimidate you?
- Where they good at listening or did they spend all of your time telling you about how good they are?
- Did you feel that the lawyer would take a practical approach to your case?
- Did they tell you anything that you did not want to hear? This is actually a good thing. Divorce cases are often filled with things that you don’t want but need to hear. You can’t hire a divorce lawyer that will only tell you what you want to hear.
If something seems off, it probably is.