When facing a divorce, one of the first questions that springs to mind is “how do I find a good lawyer?” Knowing how to choose a divorce lawyer that will provide you with the legal advice you need, at a price you can afford and be the right fit for your situation, isn’t an easy task.
The choice of a divorce lawyer is crucial to the outcome of your case and the way it progresses. It is common for individuals to change lawyers during the course of their case. In fact, Leach Legal are often involved in cases, which were first handled by another lawyer, and clients then come to us mid-process to close their case.
Here are Leach Legal’s top 10 tips on choosing a family divorce lawyer:
- Identify the need for a divorce lawyer
Firstly consider your situation. Do you actually need a lawyer or is it possible to come to an amicable agreement with your ex-partner? At Leach Legal, we suggest an initial consultation with an experienced lawyer to ensure you’re fully informed on all your legal rights and are given direction on the best way to proceed.
- Ask for a referral
Many professionals meet and work with divorce lawyers in the course of their work and are often a good source of referral. Ask if they can recommend the name of a family lawyer with a good reputation, whose qualifications and experience are most appropriate to your case. You may also have friends or family members who have been divorced. Ask them how their lawyer or their partner’s lawyer handled their divorce, if they have any words of advice or if they can recommend a divorce lawyer to you. At Leach Legal, 68% of our clients come to us as a result of a referral from their family member, friend or colleague.
- Identify your budget
Most divorce lawyers bill for their services based on an hourly rate. Few accept a fixed fee based on the total amount of time and labour they think their case requires as it is difficult to predict how any case will play out and the amount of time required to finalise a case. At Leach Legal, ensuring the best outcome is achieved for our clients is our priority. Where possible, we try and avoid litigation cases, which often results in thousands of dollars of savings.
- Be realistic
Divorce is a legal process which includes dividing your assets with your partner and resolving child-related issues. Your divorce lawyer’s role is to represent you to the best of their ability in the legal process. While you may want them to listen to your anger, frustration and sadness - that is not their role. Be realistic about the role of your divorce lawyer and what you can expect from him or her.
- Beware of the red flags
Unfortunately, some lawyers will tell you the best likely outcome, but not the worst likely outcome and try to tell you what you want to hear. Make sure the lawyer you choose gives you all the possible outcomes, both good and bad, and treats you with the respect and attention you deserve.
- Personal compatibility
You must feel comfortable with the lawyer you engage if you are to work together effectively. First impressions are everything. If you are uncomfortable with a lawyer you meet with, trust your instincts and keep looking for the right fit. At Leach Legal we appoint a Client Relationship Manager to each new client, ensuring that the relationship between them and their lawyer stays on track and is successful.
It is beneficial to live within a close proximity to your lawyer’s firm in order to meet with regularly and work on your case. However it is worth noting, if your lawyer’s office is located a significant distance from the family court, you will most likely have to foot the bill for your lawyer’s travelling time. Leach Legal is conveniently located on St. George’s Terrace, Perth, just minutes from the Family Court of Western Australia.
- Qualifications and experience
When you select a divorce lawyer, you should choose one with the legal qualifications, skills and knowledge needed for the job. If you and your partner wish to resolve your dispute amicably or have reached an agreement, the ideal lawyer is a problem solver who works well with people and is adept at compromise. As with every Family Law firm including Leach Legal, remember that a Family Lawyer can only act for one party. The length of time a lawyer has been in practice and the amount of Family Law experience he or she has is an essential component when choosing a lawyer.
- Make your choice
Selecting a lawyer to represent you in your divorce is more than just lifting a name off the internet. The lawyer-client relationship involves frequent contact during an emotionally difficult time in your life. Your relationship with your divorce lawyer may continue for months and, in some cases, years. It is important to find and engage the person who is right for you and your case.
- Call Leach Legal
As the largest Family Law firm in Perth, we have 17 qualified and experienced family law specialists waiting to work on your behalf. Call us today for a free 15 minute consultation on (08) 9486 9733.