For the most part, I believe that the selection of a divorce attorney is going to be the second biggest decision you make after your decision to terminate or dissolve your marriage. What you should be looking for is a level of comfort with the attorney and the attorney’s staff. You should be asking yourself is this a person that I’m going to entrust my life and the future of my children with as I move through this very difficult process. There’s going to have to be thousands of decisions that are get to have to be made in the course of your case.
Developing that intimate relationship should be a very important decision that you make. You should sit down and talk about the structure of the attorney’s office. How do they return phone calls? How do they return emails? Are they available on holidays or weekends? Do they have a 24-hour number you can call like we do where clients can call in and say, “I’m in the middle of a crisis”? Or people call in who we do not have as clients who are calling after hours, sometimes like a case we received three weeks ago. It was from a nurse who worked the graveyard shift. She had a very limited amount of time to call to talk to a lawyer. We were accessible to her.
What are the paralegals like that you’re going to be working with? Are they friendly? Are they nice? Do you need an appointment every time you want to talk to an attorney or can you send an email and get responses quickly to some of the pressing questions that you have? What are your expectations for an attorney? The attorney should be someone who has the most impeccable qualifications not only in the courtroom but out of the courtroom, and know what the family laws say. They should be able to direct you in a proper and appropriate way so that there is a trust relationship between you as the client and the lawyer. That’s the expectation that you deserve, and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect through the entire process.