Many clients start by asking friends and family for referrals. It’s common for a few names to come up again and again, since we live in close proximity and travel in similar circles. From there, it’s common to check the attorney websites and even schedule an introductory phone call or email to see if they’re the kind of person you want representing you.
But I usually recommend one earlier step before embarking on this pursuit. Figure out what’s important to you in the divorce – what you want to achieve, how you feel about divorcing and the type of legal professional you want guiding your divorce journey.
One great way to do this is through the Our Family in Two Homes resource, which I with clients, to articulate their values and priorities before proceeding with divorce.
Do you want an attorney who will posture and fight or one who has the ability to be strong and have a calming presence?
Do you want someone who favors Collaborative Divorce or litigation?
Are you open to Mediation – which means sitting at a table with your soon-to-be ex and one professional who leads you toward compromise?
Are you feeling all sorts of emotions about the impending split, and want an attorney who will listen to you as well as represent you?
Do you want to keep it strictly business and get it done fast?
Do you anticipate a fight from your spouse? Wrangling over kids and cars and investments?
Did you initiate the divorce or was it thrust upon you?
All of these questions and more can help you understand the type of lawyer you need and want in your corner as you progress in the divorce.
Knowing where you stand, how you feel and what you want is essential to choosing the right attorney to lead your team.
And, it’ll make the process – and the healing – much, much easier, too.