So here you are. As if Divorce and all of the crap that comes with it is not enough. But is now D-Day. And for you ladies it is and likely will be one of the most important steps you take in your Divorce.
Choosing a divorce lawyer is not about “googling” them and seeing their star ratings, although that might be a good start. It’s so much more than that.
Choosing the right lawyer can be the difference between, getting what you need and deserve or barely getting enough to buy a coffee at your local coffee shop.
You need to approach this process as if your life depends on it, and guess what it does! This is not the time for you to be meek or be afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. This is the time to put on your big girl panties and face this process head-on.
In life, there are many things that we can negotiate, but finding a lawyer to help you secure your future is not one of them. So I have put together what I believe is three key Non-Negotiables when choosing your lawyer, soon to be known as your lifeline.
Non – Negotiable #1
Hiring the right lawyer takes some time and research. One of the best ways to find a lawyer is getting a referral from somebody that has already had dealings with that person. After all, a referral is the best compliment that a professional can have. As you interview this person to see if the fit it right, DO NOT IGNORE RED FLAGS. If you are not getting a good feeling at any point in the interview/meeting, don’t ignore it. After all many believe that gut instinct is the most effective tool.
The time to be nice and being afraid of hurting their feelings if you don’t hire them is not now. A good rapport and sense of trust is key to your positive outcome. Working with somebody that you honestly feels understands you, can represent you effectively in your divorce, and most importantly will take your direction is without a doubt a non-negotiable. The unfortunate part of divorce is that the process can be long. So it’s vitally important to make sure that you get along with this person, that you trust this person and that you are confident in this person’s ability to represent you effectively. If even one of these factors is missing, then don’t hire that person. Don’t sign any fee agreement, run the hell away from that office and start the process all over again. This is NOT the time to settle unless of course, you want a half ass agreement that leaves you feeling resentful, poor and taken advantage of. Get it? Enough said.
Non – Negotiable #2
Hire the best, that right you read it right. The best. No sloppy seconds, no recent graduate from law school, but the best money can buy. And I want you to stop right there. Stop saying you can’t afford it. Because you can’t afford NOT to. Hiring a lawyer that is mediocre at their job and doesn’t come highly recommend is not going to get you what you need. Ok, so you are saying you have no money or that you can’t afford their fees? Really? If your child was ill and needed expensive medication to survive, would you find the money? Seems like a harsh comparison? But it’s really the same thing. Finding the money is key. Borrow it from a family member or friend, sell something, or better yet see if the lawyer has some kind of agreement that you can sign that will ensure he gets paid out of your settlement. Trust me, these law sharks want to get paid and knowing that unless they strike a good deal for you, they won’t get paid, is some pretty good freaking incentive to ensure they are looking after your best interest.
So no excuses for not having the money. Find it, borrow it, short of selling your body, make it happen. Don’t be proud of asking for financial help from family or friends. In time, when things are settled, you will be able to pay them back. Take a moment and think what things would look like in your life, if you did not hire the best, and you got saddled with a crappy divorce agreement. Things like entertainment, food and basic living would soon become a thing of the past. Get it? Now go find the money.
Non – Negotiable # 3
Hiring a lawyer that does not specialize in family and divorce law, is like hiring a general practitioner to give you a boob job. I mean they know the basics and can likely fiddle their way around things, but in the end, you could end up with lopsided breasts.
Your lawyer should be well versed and well schooled in this area of law. Not something they dabble in. Because like most law, there are changes to guidelines and regulations on a regular basis. If a lawyer misses one of the changes, it could end up costing you in the end.
So make sure that your lawyer practices solely divorce and family law. No general practitioners here. No lopsided boobs. You hire a mechanic to fix your car. You hire a dentist to fix your teeth. So hire a family law lawyer to fix your divorce.
There you have it. Three absolute non-negotiables in hiring your divorce lawyer. It’s crucial to your future that you really understand these simple points and don’t stray from them.
- Take the time to hire the right lawyer for you. One that has your back and that you feel comfortable with. That you know works for you.
- Hire the best that money can buy. If you had enough money to buy a Mercedes or a BMW, why would you buy a clunker?
- Hire a lawyer that specializes in family/divorce law.
Now following these steps doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy and that you aren’t going to shed a tear (you probably will). It means that you are going to arm yourself with the best weapon (legal weapon) to help you navigate this process. And you deserve that.
And lastly, remember this. This is money after divorce, there is love after divorce and there is most certainly life after divorce.
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