The characteristics of a divorce lawyer are important to consider when seeking legal representation. Whether your divorce is highly contested or if you are close to settling all or most of the major issues pertaining to your divorce such as child custody and visitation, division of property, and support, the following characteristics of a prospective divorce lawyer should be considered.
(2) Willingness to negotiate
(5) Problem solver
Proactive divorce lawyers often keep the opposing party on the defensive. Rather than reacting to the opposing counsels requests, a proactive attorney will have a strategy and often initiate action requiring the other party to respond or react. When done effectively, the opposing party may find themselves responding and reacting with little or no opportunity to go on the offensive.
Willingness to negotiate
Cases in which the parties are close to settling all or some of their divorce issues can benefit from divorce lawyers that are willing to help negotiate settlements out-of-court. Additionally, much time, money, and stress associated with contested divorce cases can be drastically reduced. However, in highly contested divorces, negotiating settlements may not be an option and a good trial lawyer may be more valuable.
An assertive divorce lawyer is typically confident, but not arrogant, and knows when it is OK to be assertive and when it is not. Additionally, such an attorney will often demonstrate confidence in the courtroom through his/her experience and may remain unemotional throughout your divorce proceedings. The attorney's communication with the opposing counsel will typically be amicable, but when under attack, he/she will not be afraid to assert his/her client's position.
Approachable attorneys are easy to talk to and easy to get in contact with. When you request to speak with them they will make themselves available and return your call in a timely manner. However, an approachable attorney is not an attorney that will engage in meaningless conversations that have no relevance to your case. Typically, an approachable attorney will demonstrate good listening skills in a conversation and will politely inform you if they believe you are getting off the subject to make the best use of his/her time.
An attorney that demonstrates good problem solving skills will have a strategy for your case. Such attorneys are often willing to negotiate settlements when it makes sense, but are fully prepared for trial if matters cannot be settled out-of-court.
If you plan to retain a divorce lawyer to help you with your divorce, taking into consideration the above 5 traits of a prospective attorney before you hire him/her might save you a surprising amount of time, money, and stress during your divorce proceedings.