FINDING A GOOD LAWYERby Aaron Dishon, Esq.
Millions of men and women go through divorce proceedings
every year and yet many give little thought to finding
a lawyer that will best meet their needs.
While a good lawyer will lead you through the divorce
quagmire and hopefully get you the best possible results,
the wrong lawyer can create more problems and add to the
nightmare of divorce. You owe it to yourself to spend
significant time and effort looking for the right divorce
Finding the best lawyer takes time and effort. But if
you choose without proper care you may end up with a botched divorce
that can leave you with financial and psychological wounds
that take a long time to heal.
In order to pick the best lawyer you should learn about
the divorce process, research available lawyers in your
area and interview several, insist that the lawyer tell
you what his strategy for your specific case will be and
how long he believes the case will take. If you are satisfied
with the plan, hire the lawyer and follow up regularly
to make sure the lawyer sticks to this plan.
The following are some questions you may want to ask
lawyers you interview.
Do you specialize in divorces, or are divorces just a
part of your practice? Are you a certified family law
How have you handled divorces like mine before. How many
divorces like mine did you handle in the past year?
What is your strategy for my case? How long will it take
to resolve my case?
How long to you take to return phone calls? How do I
get a hold of you if there is an emergency? What do you
consider to be an emergency?
Will anyone else in your office be working on my case?
What experience do they have? Can I meet them?
How will you charge me? What is your hourly rate? Do
you charge for the time I spend with other lawyers, with
paralegals, and/or with secretaries? If so, at what rate?
What is your retainer up front?
What costs other than your own do you expect will be
involved (for example, for private investigators, forensic
accountants, physicians, and/or psychologists), and how
will you charge me for them?
Do you charge for faxes, copies, and long-distance telephone
calls? How much? (Some lawyers consider these services
an additional profit opportunity.)
What's your estimate of the total cost to me of this
divorce? (Do not be alarmed that most divorce attorneys
will resist answering this question as the cost of the
divorce depends greatly upon the level of conflict in
your case. However, the way in which the attorney answers
this question may help you size up the attorney. An honest
attorney will often answer that it is difficult to estimate
the costs in advance. An attorney that gives you an unrealistically
low amount may just be trying to get your business).
Do you allow me to negotiate directly with my spouse?
How can I keep the cost of my divorce down? Are there
tasks that I can do myself to cut down on the amount you
will charge me?
Based on what you know about my case, how would you predict
a judge would rule on it?
Do you carry malpractice insurance? (Nationwide, it's
estimated that a third of lawyers do not carry malpractice
insurance. You should hire an attorney who is covered---
the coverage also protects you!)
What can you do to help me understand the tax effect
of the decisions I will have to make?
This Article FINDING A GOOD LAWYER was
written by Aaron
Dishon; Copyright Dishon
& Block, APC.