Selecting the Best Divorce Attorney
How to Choose the Best Divorce Lawyer for Your Case in Corona
With so many choices of divorce lawyers, how can a person choose the “right” one? There are many things to consider when choosing the right lawyer for you. When so much is at stake, taking the time to find the right representation could mean the difference between a favorable and unfavorable result. The following steps below will help guide you through the process of finding the right fit in a divorce lawyer for you.
Step One: Doing Research
Doing research is a vital initial step to finding not only a divorce attorney that matches your personality but also one that is qualified to handle your divorce matter.
Search Engine Research: Using online search engines such as Google and Yahoo can help you begin your search for an attorney near you. When using these search engines, try to narrow your search to one that may be within Corona. Attorneys that may be searched more often than others will show up first. This could provide you with insight as to who is a commonly-used attorney. However, beware that a commonly-used attorney may not be more qualified than another attorney. Following up with a phone call or in-office meeting could help you narrow your search to an attorney who you may feel comfortable with.
User-Based Review: In this day and age, user-based reviews have become a “go-to” research method for most people for just about anything from food to customer services. Online services such as Yelp has become many people’s first choice before making any decision. While there can be many problems with services like Yelp, these platforms provide people with opinions as to a particular product or service as those individuals likely had first-hand experience with the particular product or service. For legal services, the best platforms may be Yelp, AVVO, Lawyers.com, Findlaw, or a local bar association.
You can also poll your friends and family to find out if they know any reputable family law and divorce attorneys in Corona for a referral. If you receive a referral for an attorney from a friend or family member, it is still a good idea to research that attorney online to find out whether they have a significantly good or bad reputation, what accolades the firm maintains, and any other general information that will be helpful in making a determination as to attorney representation.
Further, always make sure to visit the State Bar of California website and search for the attorney on the “Attorney Search” button. You will be able to find the attorney by searching for their name, assuming they are a licensed California attorney. The State Bar profile includes information about the attorney including the year they were admitted to the Bar, their contact information, and most importantly whether the attorney has any history of discipline.
Step Two: Contact an Attorney for an Initial Consultation
Many reputable divorce attorneys will provide you with a free initial consultation to discuss your case and the law on a general level. These initial consultations can take place over the phone or in-person. As most individuals have never gone through the process of a divorce before, having a good understanding of the process and the law is important. Having an initial consultation with an attorney is also important to determine if you will have a comfortable relationship with that particular attorney. As that same attorney will be representing you throughout the process, having a good relationship with your attorney is important. Having multiple consultations with different attorneys will allow you the opportunity find the right attorney for you.
Step Three: Making the Right Choice
After having multiple initial consultations, the final decision is to choose the attorney you intend to retain to represent you. Find below some factors that should be considered when making that final decision:
- Experience: Is your attorney experienced? Does he/she have the support system of other attorneys to assist (having a second opinion on an issue can provide vital insight to an issue)? Does the law firm have a certified family law specialist on staff (CFLS: highest specialization in the field of family law) or American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) Fellow ready to strategize on your case?
- Hourly Rate: How much does the attorney charge? Some attorneys charge more than others. While there is some truth that a more experienced attorney should charge more, determining what you feel to be an appropriate hourly rate for the level of complexity of your case is more important. A less complex divorce may not require the involvement of an attorney with an expensive hourly rate. Conversely, you could hire a brand new attorney that may charge less of an hourly rate but they may spend significantly more time trying to figure out an issue or draft some document, when a more experienced attorney already knows how to resolve the issue. Weighing the cost and benefit to you as it relates to cost could save you a significant amount of money.
- Attorney-Client Relationship: The relationship between a client and an attorney is significant in that a divorce can be a long process. Having an attorney who you will feel comfortable with for the next six months to a couple of years could mean the difference between a good and bad divorce.
Just like in other service industries, there are good attorneys and poor attorneys that specialize in divorce law. Some attorneys are not diligent, poor communicators, and not effective in court. Others are spectacular communicators, diligent, and very effective litigators. When you interview attorneys, ask how they handle cases, how accessible they are, and to describe their track record in resolving cases by settlement and by litigation.
Also ask the Corona divorce attorneys that you interview how they use technology in their practice. Do they email? How does the divorce law firm handle billing? Are the bills sent electronically by email and do they offer credit card payments? Does the attorney use an advanced research source? How well do clients get along with the attorney’s staff?
Call our office today to determine for yourself if our law firm is appropriate for you. Our attorneys are available and looking forward to speaking with you today.