How to Select the Best Divorce Lawyer for You
(Columbia, MD) Most people will tell you that going through a divorce was one of the most vulnerable and stressful times in their lives – emotionally, mentally and financially. The divorce process becomes even more difficult when there are children involved, and custody and visitation is an issue. Selecting the best divorce lawyer for you and your unique situation can make the difference between a quick & efficient divorce, versus a long & lengthy legal catastrophe. However,
As you consider your family’s future during this stressful time, it is critical to select an attorney with the right legal training, knowledge and experience to effectively guide you through the divorce process. To make sure you are truly picking the best divorce lawyer for you, it may be necessary to meet with multiple attorneys before making a decision. As the purpose of the initial consultation is to evaluate if the divorce attorney is the right fit for your case, the following questions can help aid you in your decision-making process.
4 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING THE BEST DIVORCE LAWYER FOR YOUR CASE
#1. “Does this attorney have sufficient experience in handling divorce and family law cases?”
Attorneys are like doctors in that most have areas of expertise. You won’t go to a dentist to get a prescription for eyeglasses, right? In the same sense, you want an attorney that practices in the area of family law and has considerable experience in handling divorce cases. You should know what percentage of his or her law practice is devoted to family law. Has the attorney handled cases similar to yours? Were they successful? How long has the attorney been in practice? Ask questions about their experience.
Understand that most attorneys do not handle the day-to-day issues relating to your case. Ask your attorney about all the potential staff members who may be assigned to your case. Ask about their individual experiences and ask to meet them if possible.
Also, find out if your attorney has access to outside resources that may be relevant to your case. Does your attorney have a relationship with a forensic accountant? Would you need to hire a private investigator? A doctor? a psychologist?
#2: Does this attorney have experience with handling divorce cases specifically in Howard County (or your local area)?
Experience with the local court system is a very important factor when trying to select the best divorce lawyer to handle your case. When it comes to applying the statutes and law to your case, judges have a wide range of discretion. This means that for each of the 24 Family Courts in Maryland, each judge has his or her own unique way of determining such issues as alimony, child support, custody or visitation.
That being said, a divorce case in Howard County may not be handled exactly the same way as a divorce case in Carroll County or Anne Arundel County. Attorney Fred L. Coover, Esquire, has presented many cases in front of the family court in Howard County, MD. He knows the judges and the nuances specific to Howard County. This can only mean more effective representation for his clients and their families and better results for you.
#3: Is this divorce attorney compatible with your needs and goals?
It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of a divorce is to dissolve the marriage, and that 90% of cases usually settle before trial. However, it’s easy to lose focus of this goal in such an emotional divorce process.
How does one handle the situation when the opposing spouse is focused on retaliation? What if they are trying to humiliate you or attack you financially with excessive litigation? It’s important to find the best divorce lawyer for you that understands what to do in situations like these and can effectively guide you through this stage in your life.
Attorneys are people too and they all operate differently. You need to trust and be comfortable with your attorney. Is age, gender, personality, dress, etc. important to you? Are you looking for an aggressive pit bull who shuns mediation in favor of litigating your case in the courtroom or would you rather an attorney focused on negotiating a collaborative, mutual settlement agreement from the start? It’s ok to ask yourself and your potential attorney these questions.
Many times I have seen clients who have gone through two or three attorneys trying to find the best divorce lawyer for their case. You should understand what type of divorce you want and the tone you desire to set during the course of the proceeding. This will help you make the right decision when choosing the best divorce lawyer.
#4: Does it make financial sense to use this divorce lawyer based on the cost-benefit analysis?
If you’re strapped for cash (as most people facing a divorce are), it is not uncommon to think that the best divorce lawyer for your case is the attorney with the lowest hourly rate. While it’s reasonable to want to save money on legal fees, this mentality can often backfire. You do not want to end up with a costly – and possibly irreversible – legal mistake in an attempt to pinch pennies up front.
An attorney’s rate is usually determined by the amount of training he or she has had, how knowledgeable he or she is, and how much time and experience the attorney has had in representing clients in that specific area of law.
If you are quoted a rate from an attorney that is lower than average in Columbia, MD / Howard County (or your local area), it is probably because that attorney does not have enough experience with handling family law and divorce cases to command a higher rate. You don’t want your divorce layer “learning on the job” and using your case as a means of gaining experience.
On the other hand, a more experienced attorney may charge more per hour because he or she is well versed on the nuances of the law. This person likely can better communicate to you the pros and cons of your situation and help you set realistic goals for your case. It will likely take the experienced attorney less time to complete the work than it would the inexperienced attorney who may be using your case to train on-the-go.
At the end of the day, an inexperienced, less expensive lawyer may end up costing you more in the long run than a more experienced attorney – despite his or her higher hourly rate.
Call Experienced Columbia MD Divorce Lawyer Fred L. Coover, Esquire
Your divorce is a serious life-changing event. In addition to the stressors of daily life, it’s satisfying to know that at least one issue is being taken care of effectively. You want to ensure that you hire the best divorce lawyer to handle your matter.
When you retain Howard County Divorce Attorney Attorney Fred L. Coover, Esquire, you get the benefit of his 30 plus years of training, knowledge and experience handling divorce matters in Columbia, MD. Contact Coover Law Firm, LLC today by calling us at (410) 995-1100 to schedule your free consultation.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general educational & informational purposes only. It is not intended to convey legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.