Divorce is a stressful, time-consuming, and expensive (the average divorce costs $15,000 per person) experience. It makes sense that you would take your time to choose an attorney carefully. When interviewing divorce attorneys in North Carolina, it is important to keep in mind the following:
- The divorce settlement will have a lasting impact on your life for many years.
- Not all attorneys are the same. In fact, many divorce attorneys do the bare minimum for their clients and do not take the time to truly listen to their client’s goals, let alone go to work making sure those goals are accomplished.
Below are the top six attributes your attorney should have in spades.
Not only should your divorce attorney have years of experience handling divorce, child custody, division of marital assets, alimony, and all other divorce matters, but they should have a proven track record of successful outcomes. Your attorney needs to have experience in mediation, amicable divorce, and contested divorce. This means that if your attorney has never tried a case in court or has only been to court a handful of times, you may be better off continuing your search for the right attorney.
Most divorces never reach the courtroom. And that is a good thing. Contested divorces that are heard in court take a lot more time, and money, to resolve than divorces that are handled outside the courtroom through negotiation. As such, your divorce attorney needs to be a skilled, practiced negotiator who will stand up for your rights but not push the other party towards anger or digging in. A divorce attorney needs to be able to work through conflict by finding common ground. Divorce is a game of give and take, but not all attorneys understand how to successfully negotiate a divorce settlement without going too far in one direction or the other.
Has Necessary Resources
While a small legal practice might seem quaint or that you will be given that attorney’s full attention, the truth is that you want a divorce attorney with the necessary resources to win. Does your attorney have paralegals that work under them or other associates that can provide assistance if necessary? Does your attorney have experience working with financial consultants, forensic financial planners, accountants, private investigators, and other expert witnesses? Sometimes it takes a team to achieve the desired result, not an individual.
You won’t get anywhere if your attorney fails to talk to you. A divorce attorney should not take weeks to answer an email or call you back. Divorce takes many months—sometimes well over a year—and during that time, you are sure to have questions, concerns, and information to add that will help build your case for child custody, assist division, or other divorce matters. Your attorney should be more than willing and capable of discussing these issues with you in a timely manner so that your and their goals align at all times.
A New York Times investigation found that a criminal defense lawyer in Louisiana had 194 felony cases at the same time. He would have had to work 100,000 hours (five years) to cover those cases. Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to criminal defense lawyers. Family law and divorce lawyers take on too many clients (and overbill them for hours) than they can reasonably handle. Look for an attorney that not only has the time to invest in your case but an attorney who actually cares about the outcome.
Has Your Best Interests in Mind
There is no other way to find out what type of lawyer you’re getting than meeting them in person to judge their character and commitment to their clients. And, if you have been working with a divorce attorney who has not been answering your calls in a timely fashion or does not seem to be devoting the time and care that your case deserves, it is not too late to find another attorney who truly puts your best interests at the forefront.
Call a Raleigh, North Carolina Divorce Attorney Today
Hiring a divorce attorney can be overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider that the entire process can create decision fatigue, especially when you have spent weeks searching for the right attorney. But rest assured. The right attorney for you is out there. We encourage you to give the North Carolina divorce attorneys at Triangle Divorce Lawyers a call to schedule a free consultation today. Contact us at 919-364-1802 at your earliest convenience.