Finding the right divorce attorney for your case can be a worrisome decision. The attorney you hire will be trusted with very private information about your marriage and your finances that you may not share with even your closest friends and family. He or she will be helping you make difficult decisions, so you should make sure that they are not only knowledgeable and skilled, but trustworthy as well.
Think of your initial consultation as an opportunity for you to interview the attorney. You can learn a great deal during the consultation if you come prepared.
Here are some of the qualities that you should look for in a divorce attorney:
Experience is a broad quality and can mean many different things. The first, and most obvious, type of experience that you will be looking for is in the area of family law. You should ask the attorney about the number and types of family law cases they have handled. You should also ask about whether they have a specific expertise in dealing with the most important issues in your case, for example, child custody or business valuation. Do not overlook asking the attorney about the number of cases they have tried to judges and juries. Not all attorneys are comfortable in court. You should work towards an amicable resolution of your case, but your attorney should be ready and capable of trying your case if it cannot be settled.
2. Good Communication
A good attorney should speak in clear and plain terms that you understand. He or she should avoid legalese when possible and provide explanations for legal terms when they are used. A good communicator is also someone who listens and responds to your questions. Come to the consultation ready to ask a few questions.
3. Personal Attention
The attorney you hire is someone you will work with closely. They may have associate attorneys, paralegals, or secretaries that assist with your case. The attorney should explain to you who will be working on your case and introduce you to those people. You should never feel that your case is being passed on or that your attorney is too busy for you. Instead, you should feel that you have a support team who is working to help you reach your goals.
4. Clear Explanation of Fees and Billing
The attorney you hire should offer a clear and plain description of his/her hourly rate, retainer policy, and billing procedures. These matters should be presented to you in writing and explained prior to commencement of representation.
5. Professional Approach
Your attorney will serve many different roles. They will advise you on the laws that apply to your case. They will recommend and implement a strategy to help you reach your goals, and most importantly, they will advocate for you. They must do these things in an ethical manner that promotes your interests. It can be difficult to gauge an attorney’s professionalism at an initial consultation, but be wary of any attorney who makes quick promises or guarantees an outcome. The best attorney will be the one who is honest with you and does not simply tell you what they think you want to hear.
Please contact me directly or through www.berrymanfamilylaw.com if you would like to schedule a consultation.
R. Scott Berryman
Berryman Family Law
6425 Powers Ferry Road, Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30339