It is a good idea to try to gain some self-awareness of your own personality and that of your soon to be ex-spouse before you interview divorce attorneys. If you want to settle your case amicably, but you hire an attorney who is known to be a “shark,” it is more likely that you will end up in a long drawn out process and incur more fees than are necessary. If your spouse is completely unreasonable and you think you have no choice but to litigate in court, and you hire a negotiator who has never tried a case, it is likely your outcome won’t be as positive. Remember that most divorce cases (approximately 95% in Florida) settle in mediation and do not go to trial. Be sure to hire an attorney who is experienced in the kind of divorce process that you want to use.
It is important to hire an attorney who specializes in family law and regularly handles divorce proceedings. Now is not the time to hire a family friend who deals mainly with personal injury cases and does an occasional divorce on the side. You need someone who not only knows the law, but who also is familiar with the proclivities, decisions, and procedures of the judges in front of whom you will be appearing. In Florida, family law is an area in which there are constant and significant changes. Your attorney needs to be up to date on these changes, as they could drastically affect your settlement. Feel free to ask your prospective attorney if they attend the annual AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) conference in Florida. This is where family law practitioners take specific courses to gain the most up- to-date knowledge in each sub-area of family law, including alimony, equitable distribution, child support, and many other areas that may pertain to your case.
When you initially meet your attorney, you may want to have a list of prepared questions that you can ask, so that you can keep your thoughts organized, even if you are feeling somewhat scattered. It is also helpful if you have at least a working knowledge of your finances before you walk into the lawyer’s office. Because the legal and financial issues in a divorce are so intertwined, you can’t expect a lawyer to give you meaningful legal advice if you have no idea of what your financial situation is. Remember that no attorney can tell you with certainty what your settlement will be during your first interview. Each case requires analysis and time to fully explore.
Finally, it is important to keep your expectations realistic. No lawyer can straighten out your finances, get you the settlement of your dreams, make sure your kids are happy and well-adjusted, and ensure that your life goes well when your divorce is all over. A great lawyer can help you achieve a settlement that is desirable to you and most beneficial to your children, if you have them. Choosing the right divorce lawyer won’t make your divorce easy or solve all your divorce problems; however, it will go a long way toward making your divorce as simple and painless as it can be.
If you need assistance with your own divorce proceeding, contact a Fort Lauderdale family lawyer at (954) 440-0901 for assistance. The Fort Lauderdale complex divorce lawyers at The Carlin Law Firm, PLLC regularly represents individuals in complex divorce and matrimonial cases.