The decision to end your marriage can be an agonizing one and deciding to contact a divorce attorney is equally challenging. You may be wondering how a divorce is going to affect you financially, how custody and child support will be handled, if you will receive or have to pay alimony, and what your future holds, among many other concerns. An attorney will expertly guide you through the divorce process and choosing the best family law attorney for you can make all the difference in how your divorce is managed and resolved.
Begin by researching potential attorneys. Decide what type of attorney you are looking for in terms of education and experience, special certifications, temperament, the size of the firm you prefer and even whether you prefer a female or male attorney. Inquire with family and friends about potential referrals, review firm websites and read client and peer reviews in places like Google, AVVO and Super Lawyers.
Choose an attorney with a focused practice in family law, as well as a solid knowledge in the divorce laws of the state. Choose one that is familiar with the county court where your divorce action with be filed and with its staff and judges. If you have anything significant at stake in your marriage such as children, significant assets and/or debts, or an alimony issue, you should consider hiring a certified matrimonial law attorney. Rosanne DeTorres, our managing partner, is only 1 of 150 lawyers in New Jersey that holds a certification in matrimonial law.
When consulting with attorneys, your first contact with the firm should be positive and welcoming. A gracious staff and calm, pleasant office culture speak volumes about what your experience will be like in the future. Be sure to have questions prepared, including budgetary concerns, along with your thoughts on how you would like your divorce handled. The attorney should listen and give practical advice and feedback that allows you to see your case moving forward in a way that makes you feel comfortable. We have compiled a list of questions for you to take with you as you interview possible family law attorneys, which is downloadable here.
Of course, you will want your case to be brought to a swift conclusion with little conflict. However, that is not always realistic, and you should feel confident your attorney is comfortable in settlement negotiations, as well as in the courtroom. In the end, the attorney and client relationship is based on a partnership of trust, confidentiality, and effective communication so take the time to find a family law attorney you feel comfortable with.