Many of us have been through a difficult breakup or two, but getting a divorce is different. You can’t just break up over a coffee, have a cry, hug it out and walk away. Getting a divorce is in itself a stressful and emotionally taxing time and it can drag out. As a result the pain can run deep. Especially if there are kids involved. So it’s only understandable that you want as much as possible surrounding the dark event in your life to go as smooth and pain free as possible. Finding the right divorce lawyer can be a key to what could be a faster, less-expensive and much less stressful divorce, compared to a long, drawn out emotional and financial nightmare. Also, few of us have any prior experience with the legal ins and outs associated with this difficult process so you will need the help.
That said, if you have come to the decision to get a divorce, then finding a good, experienced lawyer should be at the top of your ‘to do’ list. Knowing that you have an expert on-hand with whom you can work through any potential difficulties will make the process much more manageable. You want a divorce lawyer that can provide you with the legal advice you need, at a price you can afford and be the right fit for your situation. It comes without saying that it’s not always easy to find this magical worker. You have to use your head but also pay attention to your gut. But don’t worry, we are here to guide you in your search. Read more to find out how to find the right divorce lawyer.
Decide what divorce process you want to use
This is the very first decision you need to make.
You have to decide whether you want to use mediation, litigation, Collaborative Divorce or cooperative divorce. Then you can start looking for a divorce lawyer who is experienced in getting people divorced using that divorce process.
In other words, you have to match the lawyer to the divorce process.
Check the reviews
Read up on other people’s experiences with any divorce lawyers you are considering reaching out to. Look on Google for honest reviews from past clients, and check the reviews left on their social media channels, in order to gain a more honest reflection of the services they offer.
Research Independent Directories
The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners both offer up to date guides to law firms and solicitors in the UK. Rather than relying solely on the information included on a solicitor’s own webpage, independent directories can provide you with a broader understanding of their areas of expertise.
If a collaborative approach is a high priority for you, then take a look at Resolution. Their database of accredited specialists is trained to help reach good outcomes for families and children.
The absolute best way to find a good divorce lawyer is, was, and probably always will be, word of mouth. If you know someone who has been through a divorce in the past few years, and was satisfied with their divorce lawyer, get that lawyer’s name.
If you know any non-divorce lawyers, ask them for a referral. Lawyers know each other.
Find a lawyer who is experienced in family law
This is not the time you want to talk to uncle who specializes in estate planning, but is willing to do you a favour and handle your divorce. You need a lawyer who regularly works in divorce.
While it is not imperative that you choose a law firm local to your area, doing so will make life much easier for you.
Face-to-face consultations can make a stressful situation much more manageable, and it is much easier to schedule a meeting or drop off important documents if you do not have to arrange for travel and time away from work.
If you are living in Gloucestershire, for instance, then searching for Cheltenham divorce lawyers will make the process much more manageable, and avoid the extra costs associated with travel and childcare.
Your divorce lawyer will be there to guide you through an incredibly stressful time and, for your own mental health, it is imperative that you find someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing personal information.
Many firms offer free consultations, which are great opportunities to meet, talk through some of the details, and decide whether or not you feel comfortable working with them. Does their ethos suit you? Don’t be afraid to ask questions; a divorce can be a difficult process for many reasons, but working with your lawyer shouldn’t be.
Consider the cost
In addition to the emotional turmoil of going through a divorce, the financial burden can put a great deal of strain on a person’s shoulders. Before committing to any law firm, you should remember to approach potential firms, ask for their quotes, and take the time to compare the costs. Ask yourself, is it a fixed-fee quote or an estimate? Are disbursements and VAT included?
Starting a new chapter in your life can be a costly venture. Taking the time to find a law firm suited to your budget will make a great deal of difference to your ability to cope during this trying time.
Lastly, remember that the lawyer who is right for you will not make you cry. Instead, the lawyer will make you feel calm, and talk in words you understand and will make you feel anything but unimportant.