We live in a microwave culture. No, I don’t mean that we like to cook our meals in microwaves (although I think most of us do enjoy a quick bite to eat via a microwave every now and then). What I am talking about is that we have become used to getting what we want when we want it, and not a moment later. Think about what benefits our cell phones provide us with. Information at our fingertips. The internet at our fingertips. It’s almost as if the ability to call a person who lives around the world from you from any location in the world is not very interesting in and of itself.
The bottom line is that we get what we get when we want it. For the most part, we don’t have to wait very long to receive answers, collect information, send updates and do the sort of things that it used to take much, much longer to do. Think about buying a house. All of the documents that need to be signed. All of the meetings and events that need to be scheduled. These things would take days to get accomplished. Now with the power of technology we can mark these items off our to-do lists in a few minutes.
However, there are some jobs that technology cannot do completely for us. There is to a certain extent some human to human interactions that a phone or computer cannot duplicate. When we consider how you may find the best divorce attorney to represent you in a split from your spouse, I think person to person interactions are even more important than any information that technology will allow you to obtain at the click of a mouse.
Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will discuss with you how to best go about finding a divorce attorney who is well suited to represent you. Once you locate and hire an attorney he or she will be there to help you achieve whatever goals you have set out for yourself in the divorce. In the meantime, it is up to you to locate him or her. We want to provide you with some tips on how to conduct that search so that you take advantage of however much time you have been given to do so.
What do you need to accomplish in your divorce case?
This is the question that you need to ask yourself before you ever start your search for a divorce attorney. If you have kids, you need to figure out what custody arrangement you have envisioned for yourself. Do you want primary custody or the kids or do you think the kids are better off living full time with your spouse and having visitation with you? Have you considered what you need to ask for in spousal maintenance or alimony? How about the division of your community estate? Debts, property, the family business and on and on the list goes.
The more complicated your list of issues in the divorce, the greater emphasis that you need to place on experience. Ask yourself what issues are likely to be debated in your divorce between you and your spouse. If you all see eye to eye on the issues in your life then you may have a quicker and simpler divorce on your hands. Otherwise, if you all have a lot of issues to get through and not a lot of cohesion in how you are approaching those issues then a longer and more highly contested divorce may be upcoming.
Either way, you cannot find the best divorce attorney for you until you ask yourself what you need to accomplish in your divorce and what you want to accomplish. Rushing into your divorce without thinking, hiring the first attorney you can find and then moving on to the next thing is not a strong plan to have. Take some time to think through your goals, interview multiple attorneys, think the issues through and then make a decision after you have done all of these things. I think that this is the first place you need to look when finding yourself the best divorce attorney for you and your case.
How much money do you have to spend?
Your finances are a real-world consideration when you are attempting to locate the best divorce attorney. It would be great if you could have your pick of every attorney in southeast Texas to represent you in a divorce. However, there is almost always some factor in play that prevents you from hiring one another or another. That factor is frequently money. If you are in a tough spot financially and have no place to draw additional resources from, the reality is that you may be limited to certain attorneys who could represent you in the divorce lawsuit.
Some attorneys will allow for you to pay them periodically throughout the case if you do not have the up front money for a retainer. Other attorney’s offices offer financing where you can make payments with interest over a period of time- almost like with a credit card. Family law attorneys do not take clients on a contingency basis, however. So, trying to negotiate with an attorney by telling him or her that she will be able to take a portion of your community estate as their fee will not work. You need to either have some cash in reserve ready to pay for your attorney or be prepared to finance your representation.
Just as I recommended that you consider your goals overall for the divorce before hiring an attorney, you need to sit down with your bank account and credit card statements and figure out how much you are willing to pay for an attorney. Fortunately in our area you will have a wide range of attorneys who charge a wide range of fees. You will almost certainly find an attorney in your price range. The key will be deciding on who can help you without causing you to have to take out a second mortgage on your home.
Use friends and family (to an extent) for advice on who to hire
The reality of our world in 2020 is that we all know a handful of people (if not more) that have gotten divorced. I’m not here to perform a sociological study on our culture. What I am acknowledging is that people seem more willing to get divorced from all corners of our society. What this means for you is that you likely have a friend or family member who has gotten a divorce themselves or knows someone who has.
You can use the knowledge and opinions of your friends to your advantage in hiring the best divorce attorney for you. However, as much as I believe that friends and family can be a good resource for you I also believe that you need to utilize friends and family only so much. The danger your run into if you choose to heavily rely on friends or family for advice is that you are limiting your perspective on the available talent pool of attorney. In addition, you are allowing these folks to influence your choice of an attorney to a degree that you probably would not want to do.
For instance, if your cousin recommends a friend of theirs who just passed the Bar Exam to represent you in your divorce, I would politely decline. Young and inexperienced attorneys need to get their start somewhere but that start doesn’t have to be representing you in a case where you stand to potentially lose a lot of money and time/rights with your children if mistakes are made. It is possible in any situation for a mistake to be made with your divorce. However, it is even more likely for a mistake to be committed when the attorney is inexperienced.
Finally, be aware that your friends and family members can be great sources of information as you begin your search for the best divorce attorney, but their advice is often colored by their own experiences (good and bad) in divorce cases. So, if your friend had a terrible divorce experience with their lawyer then their advice is going to be dripping with animosity and anger towards lawyers. That anger may be deserved but it has nothing to do with you or your case. Look to your friends as good sources of information until they prove that they cannot be helpful or objective. At that point it is best to look elsewhere to find the right divorce attorney for you and your case.
Go meet with attorneys- in person!
One aspect of technology that I didn’t even get to in the opening paragraphs of today’s blog post is the technology has made it so we don’t even have to shop for groceries or sit down at a restaurant table in order to eat. Rather, we have groceries delivered to the trunk of our cars by typing into our phones. Additionally, we can order meals from our favorite restaurants delivered right to our doorsteps.
Whereas in years past we at least had to make person to person contact to eat food and prepare meals, technology has stepped in and made isolated eating a reality for us in 2020. It would be tempting to think that we can do just about anything over the computer nowadays. I mean, we can even see a doctor over the computer and save ourselves a trip to the doctor’s office to get a prescription or figure out what’s going on with that rash on your back.
One area where technology cannot duplicate the experience of a face to face interaction is when you and an attorney meet to discuss your case. I think that it is still incredibly important if at all possible for you and your attorney to meet face to face when you are conducting the interview process. There is something about looking a person in the eye when it comes to getting a feel on whether or not you feel comfortable enough to hire him for your representation.
You can use technology to find out more about a law office. Our office’s blog posts act as a way to provide you with information. They also allow our office to advertise to you all who surf the web looking for information on family law and divorce cases in Texas. Absolutely you should use whatever information and tools are at your disposal in order to hire an attorney. However, do not expect to be able to find the best divorce attorney by only using technology. The personal touch of a handshake, eye contact and other traits can still tell you a lot about a person.
Once you have met with an attorney in person you can get a feel for him or her and then make a more educated decision on who you want to hire. If you are able to do so, meet with a handful of attorneys so you can begin to get a grasp on how that attorney handles their cases, what plans he or she has for your case how much each lawyer may end up costing you. It is only after you have done this type of analysis that you will be able to find the best divorce attorney for you and your case.
Questions about how to find and hire the best divorce attorney? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
On behalf of the lawyers with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to thank you for choosing to spend part of your day reading our blog post. We post unique, interesting and relevant content on Texas family law every day. You are welcome to join us here to see what we have to say.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about today’s blog post or about family law in general please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week here in our office. These consultations are are a great opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback about your particular circumstances.