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Finding the right New York divorce lawyer can be a difficult process. However, it is far more difficult if you have to switch lawyers halfway through your NY divorce case, because you hired the wrong lawyer to begin with.
Here are 3 tips to help you hire the best attorney for you, the first time:
Sooner is better.
The beginning stages of a divorce may be very stressful so it is important to find a lawyer you trust early on. When you are in the throes of an emotional separation from your spouse, it can feel extremely difficult to make a clear headed decision when hiring a divorce lawyer; especially if you are running out of time and are forced to make that decision quickly. Therefore, it is important to leave yourself enough time to do your research, meet with different attorneys, and make an informed decision before hiring a lawyer.
Research, Research, Research.
Reputation does matter: An NY divorce lawyer with a bad reputation is not an attorney you want to hire. Hire a lawyer who has a very good professional reputation and no disciplinary action. Reach out to friends or family who have been divorced or who are lawyers in your state, and ask if they have heard of the lawyer you are considering.
Search Online: Google is a tremendous resource for finding lawyers located in your area, and reading reviews and background information about them. It is very common for past clients to post reviews on the lawyer’s google plus page or the lawyer’s own website. You can learn a lot about a lawyer’s style and philosophy by reading what former clients have to say.
NY State Bar: It may be helpful to check the NY bar association website to make sure there are no pending disciplinary actions against an attorney before meeting with them.
Have an Initial Consultation & Ask Questions
Lawyers that focus solely on Divorce and family law are often the most familiar with the NY judges in your area, and likely have the most up to date knowledge on the laws.
It is important to meet any divorce attorney before hiring them, no matter how great their reviews, so that you can get a sense of their personality, relevant experience and legal strategy. The lawyer you choose to represent you cannot determine how your spouse reacts during the divorce process or how the judge rules on your case. However, working with a divorce lawyer who you trust can greatly reduce the stress from a divorce.
You may find it helpful to evaluate how you felt about the lawyer’s overall demeanor and legal strategy after the consultation:
- Did you feel comfortable speaking openly with this lawyer?
- Did the lawyer listen to your concerns and answer your questions?
- Did they give you advice that was frank and honest?
- What do they charge?