HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DIVORCE LAWYERS IN FLORIDA
Dissolution of a marriage is quite stressful and it takes a toll on the couple involved, both physically and mentally. Divorce proceedings are long drawn processes and once a petition is filed, it is the beginning of a long and complex road ahead for the couple till a final settlement is arrived at. It is, therefore, very important to choose a top divorce lawyer in Stuart, FL to represent your case. The lawyer you choose should be highly experienced with extensive knowledge of the divorce laws of the state.
Qualifications and experience as a Divorce Lawyer in Florida
The divorce lawyer you choose must be licensed to practice law in the state of Florida. In order to be licensed, a lawyer must be a graduate from an American Bar Association accredited law school. He/she must have passed a professional responsibility exam and the Florida Bar Exam, and must have received a Certification of Character.
There are tens of thousands of lawyers who practice in the state of Florida. While some lawyers are into general law practice, that is, they handle multiple types of legal cases, many others tend to specialize in a particular area of the law and consign their law practice to that particular field. Divorces cases, which are sometimes also called matrimonial cases, fall under the umbrella of family law. It makes sense to choose an experienced matrimonial lawyer to handle your divorce case. Before zeroing in and finalising a top divorce lawyer in Stuart, FL, you should look into his/her credentials like experience and track record in resolving divorce cases.
Divorce process you want
The first thing you need to do while choosing a divorce lawyer is to decide what kind of divorce process you want to go for, whether you want mediation, collaborative divorce, litigation, or some other form of divorce. Based on your decision, you should scout for a divorce attorney who is best suited to the kind of divorce you want. There are lawyers who specialize in and have experience and expertise in a particular type of divorce process. Choose one that matches your requirement. So based on your unique circumstances, you will have to determine what type of divorce attorney you need. You have to realize that any divorce attorney you talk to will try to steer you in the direction of their own niche area of expertise and convince you to take that course of divorce. It’s up to you now to decide what you want first, so you can make the correct choice.
Identify at least three to four potential attorneys.
Never be in haste while choosing a divorce lawyer. They are not all the same. So short list at least three to four prospective divorce lawyers to interview before you make a decision. It is obvious that you need to hire an attorney who specializes in family law and one who has the experience and expertise in the specific type of divorce you reckon would be best for you. The ideal attorney should have the legal knowledge and experience you need, should be able to help you understand the process, must have good communication and negotiation skills and must be highly experienced in your specific court system. So you need to hire a local attorney. Irrespective of whether your divorce is headed for trial or not, your divorce lawyer in Port Saint Lucie should be experienced with the family law judges in your jurisdiction so that he/she can give you appropriate advice on the legal strategies to be followed.
So then, how do you find potential attorneys? Ask you friends or colleagues for personal recommendations. You can also ask your trust or estate lawyer for recommending divorce attorneys or you can simply go online to the numerous websites that provide client reviews of attorneys who are local to you. You can also look for them in the local bar association directories.
Look for red flags
Unfortunately many attorneys, just to close the deal, tend to tell you what you want to hear. While this is a matter of life for you, for them it’s just business. There are no guarantees in this process, so if an attorney makes any promise, don’t believe it. If an attorney boasts about high-profile clients or divulges confidential information from other cases, it’s very likely they’ll leak details about your case to others. If during your meeting they’re constantly distracted by phone calls or emails and are not able to pay their sole attention on you, then very likely they won’t during your divorce case. Make sure the lawyer you choose acts within the prescribed ethics of professionalism and treats you with the respect and attention you deserve.
Weigh the costs
Handling a legal matter is rarely inexpensive, and a divorce case is no different. Ask the lawyers you interview, about their fees. Most lawyers charge hourly fees and also require a retainer, an advance fee. Some lawyers might also negotiate their fees based on the anticipation of a favourable settlement. If their costs are out of range for you, just move out. The top divorce lawyer in Stuart, FL you choose should be upfront about the costs associated with your divorce process and also explain to you if there are any options to minimize the cost. Your lawyer should also explore the option of reaching a settlement, if at all possible, without the case going to trial. This can substantially reduce your costs while it still gets you a satisfactory resolution.