Choosing and attorney is an emotionally charged experience. While some parties can maintain a friendly relationship in the transition from “married” to “divorced,” it is very common for the relationship to range from bickering and arguing to threats and violence. Choosing the attorney for your case will be one of the most important decisions you make. In the “San Diego Legal Insider’s Guide to Divorce, Legal Separation and Paternity” which is sold on Amazon, there is a section devoted to this most important topic.
A knowledgeable attorney in San Diego can anticipate common breakup issues and help the client prepare for them in several ways. For example, a lawyer can tell you what to expect in the legal procedures. By asking you about the specific facts of your case, your attorney can anticipate potential problems. Your attorney can advise you on what documentation the court will require when deciding financial issues. And if specific problems such as threats or violence occur, your lawyer can address those issues as well. The lawyer can sit down with you and give you realistic expectations based on their training, education and experience.
However, having an experienced San Diego divorce attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. While all attorneys have a common educational foundation, knowledge, experience, and performance can differ widely. Your first step in choosing an attorney is to make sure the firm has a strong background in family law.
Most clients find that a local attorney is preferable to one located elsewhere. They can more quickly respond to crisis situations and may be able to refer you to local resources to provide assistance.
One of the biggest problems in any divorce is unrealistic expectations. While some lawyers seem to encourage unrealistic expectations and multiply billable hours with futile demands that only fuel the fires of animosity, an effective lawyer will provide calm counsel about outcomes and expectations and help reach prompt, peaceful resolution of problems.
Many people ask a friend to recommend an attorney. However, your cousin’s best friend’s personal injury attorney may not be your best choice, even if he won the friend a huge settlement for that car accident.
There are several ways to evaluate a lawyer’s qualifications. One is to look at his website. Does it provide helpful topical information on family law in language you can understand? Are there resources for your specific needs, such as high asset cases or international issues? Many websites offer multiple contact options such as phone, email and online chat options. If you submit a question, is it answered promptly and courteously? Do they belong to professional organizations? Are they a certified specialist? Are they on any bar referral panels? These and many more are considerations.
The final step in evaluating a San Diego attorney is to meet with the attorney in person. While many clients may think the most important question is “how much will a divorce cost?” it may be more important to consider how the firm bills its services. Does the lawyer’s fee include copies, postage, and filing fees? Do you feel comfortable with the attorney’s knowledge, expertise, and “style?” Does the attorney charge for the attorney service routine filings? Does the attorney have a certified paralegal? Does the office look professional? Are you treated with courtesy and respect? Is the attorney and the attorney’s office easy to work with?
A free consultation can help you make your decision without cost. Contact Us Online or call us at 858-312-8500 in Southern California for an appointment.