I really feel like I should know the answer to this by now, after my time on the forum and after having seen 2 lawyers plus a mediator myself. But how does one go about committing to a lawyer?
Can someone provide me the crib note list of questions to ask? Does it come down to cost? Do I need to like/love my lawyer? Be friends with them? Do I want a male or a female? Do I pick someone in my town or the next town over?
I really liked the one I saw last summer and felt she'd advocate well for me. But I'm lost at this point. Help! Info on expected costs would help too. I'm budget bound as well.
P.S. For those who know my story, I'm considering moving up my filing to December of this year, much closer than my original July 2018 date. Mediation was on the table but it appears H is not going to be cooperative.
I talked to 2 males and one female. I chose the lawyer I did because during the phone consult he got a little aggressive with me and played devil's advocate based on a question I asked. His answer was something like this, "well I can't promise you that you are going to get alimony, if I'm your husband's attorney then I'm going to bring up x,y and Z".
Also he explained the process about my husband being served and how he has 20 days to respond and if he doesn't we are going to run him over, were his words.
So I liked that aggressiveness and take charge attitude. It's basically how I like my men in the bedroom!
Post by GeekGoddess on Apr 30, 2017 8:59:04 GMT -5
elle - good to hear from you here, & encouraging about moving the timeline sooner. I don't think the lawyer's gender matters. (Mine was male, my Ex's was female) Cost varies widely by region & in my town, even by the neighborhood their office is in. Ask the three you've seen what kinds of costs to expect. Most won't quote a "not to exceed" cost, but they ought to explain retainer, what's average for similar situations (kids or not, shared property, etc). I knew my H would cooperate, more or less, by the time I met with my lawyer to pay retainer. So few arguments, or billable hours, were needed that I got a portion refunded to me. You don't need to love, or even like, your lawyer much. What matters most is that feeling of: will they advocate well for you? That's all their job is, really, so you need to trust they will do that part well. Keep us posted!
Post by greatcoastal on Apr 30, 2017 13:25:57 GMT -5
My 2 cents from my recent experiences. 1) Do not trust reviews. An attorney can pay $$$ to get good "false" reviews written and posted for them.
2) Ask reliable resources. (I wish I had a correct name). There are people who work at the court house, who work with judges who see lawyers in action daily. They know the good and the bad ones.
3) My therapist has had to testify in several court cases. He had good recommendations.
4) Looking for a lawyer that is going to tear your STBX to shreds, is one alternative, probably not the best. Divorces are changing (hopefully for the better) with no fault policies.More and more of 50/50 split policies.
5) The attorney I hired asked me from the beginning, "who is your wife's attorney?" When she heard the name (another attorney that my therapist recommended) she responded, That's a good thing. I have worked with this attorney many times before. She is experienced, fair, and knowledgeable. She will tell your wife what she most likely can get and what she won't be receiving." However, my stbx did not like that! She hired an attorney who promised her what she wanted to hear. That over litigated everything! So get an attorney who can also throw it right back at them. These "stall tactics" do not go over well with a judge, or a mediator.It will be in your favor.
6) Attorneys certainly know and can recommend other attorneys. You can have the upper hand by recommending an attorney that also serves as a mediator. One who is licensed to do both. Again, experience, experience, in DIVORCE! (not down at the bottom of page 4 somewhere with the rest of their qualifications.)
7) Go see a 3rd and 4th attorney. Sharpen your questions and skills. Get free answers. Be a savvy shopper. Your future depends on it!
8)You can do a lot of "attorney work" your self. (bank statements, cancelled checks, tax statements, photographs, receipts, lists of questions, monthly expenses and budgets, lists of debts, parenting plans, etc...)
9) Cost and budget. You can make payments. You can also get your H to have to pay all or half of your attorney fees, and court costs. Good questions to ask up front. This is where mediation "is supposed to" save time and money.
10) Great to hear from you again! Very proud of you! Not the least surprised by a controllers reluctance to comply. That can be to your advantage, it may take longer. One day at a time. Ask for, look for strength to make it one day at a time.
I've started a thread in "Resources" entitled "How to find a divorce lawyer". There isn't too much there yet... but I encourage those with experience and advice to post there, and those seeking it to check there, too.