If you’ve decided to hire a divorce lawyer NJ, you need to think of this process as a marathon, not a sprint. Do not settle on the first attorney you call and do not assume that a higher billing rate means a better lawyer. Take your time if you can. Ask friends and family if they know any good divorce lawyers. If they’ve gone through a divorce, get the names of lawyers they believe did a good job. If you have a friend who’s a lawyer, ask your friend who he would hire for a divorce lawyer, and why.
Ask questions for hiring divorce lawyer NJ
Ask other professionals who work with families. Do you know any therapists or social workers? Anyone who works at the courthouse? Check with your local bar association. It often has a lawyer referral service. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be intimidated or feel pressured. Don’t make the mistake of confusing competence with experience.
Try not to pick an attorney out of the Yellow Pages unless there is no other alternative. If you have to use this method, be sure you interview the attorney and find out about her background. Look in the Yellow Pages under “Attorneys — Divorce and Family” or under “Lawyers.” Check the listings for the lawyers who limit their practice to family and matrimonial or divorce law.
Family Law Practitioners Differ
Within the practice of family law, lawyers differ in their methods and beliefs. They have a variety of personalities, both in and out of the courtroom. They will use their expertise to tell you how they think the law applies to your case and how they will use the law to try the case or to settle it. If you talk to five different family law practitioners, you could get five slightly different responses as to how they will handle your case. Finding a divorce lawyer NJ is like buying a new pair of shoes. You have to try them on to see which one fits best.
What You Want Steers Your Choice
What do you want your divorce lawyer NJ to do for you? What are your objectives? The answers to these questions will have an important effect on who you select to represent you. For example, suppose you and your spouse get along reasonably well. You’ve been married more than ten years and have two children. You own a house, two cars, retirement assets, and a time-share. You need a divorce attorney because you need to protect your children and your property, but you’re confident you can work out a settlement. You don’t want to fight with your spouse; you just don’t want to be married any longer. You want an attorney who is willing to negotiate, consider alternative dispute techniques, and most importantly, respect your desire to engage in a civil and amicable divorce process.
Maybe you’re pretty emotionally charged. You surprised your spouse in bed with someone else, and now you want to tell the judge and anyone else who will listen how you’ve been done wrong. You want the toughest, meanest divorce litigator in your community. The first lawyer you talk to says judges aren’t that interested in hearing your sob story. You ignore that lawyer’s advice and continue looking until you find a divorce lawyer NJ who agrees to your wishes. You’ve now selected a lawyer using your emotions instead of your intelligence. This choice will not only cost you a lot of money but will create hostility with your spouse that may take years to overcome and cause your children endless heartache as they watch the two of you battle it out every time you see each other.
Like Your Lawyer
You want to choose a divorce lawyer NJ you can trust, someone who’s smart. You want someone who really listens to you and is honest about what will happen. You want someone who answers your calls, keeps you informed, and is on your side. You don’t want someone who is going to run up your bill by allowing you to chat about things that are not important to your legal case.
You’ll probably end up spending a fair amount of time with this person, so listen to your gut as well as your brain. It’s extremely important that you trust your divorce lawyer NJ and feel comfortable asking questions. You’re under no obligation to hire a lawyer just because you met with him. If you’re intimidated or uncomfortable with him, look for someone else. You’ll have to ask your lawyer a lot of questions and work closely with him during the divorce. Make sure you’re compatible. Also remember that every contact with your lawyer is billed to you. In order to reduce the cost of your consultation or divorce, focus on your legal issues, not on making polite conversation.
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