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How To Hire The Right Gray Divorce Attorney

hiring a divorce attorney

Divorce and Transitions: Mardi Winder-Adams

As a divorce coach for high-achieving women, I’ve seen firsthand the emotional and financial toll that divorce can take.

One of the most critical decisions you’ll make during this process is hiring the right divorce attorney. This decision will significantly impact the outcome of your divorce and how the process unfolds.

A common mistake that women make is to hire an attorney based on the recommendation of someone else. Everyone’s divorce is different, and the right attorney in a collaborative divorce where the couple is on the same page is a very different professional than is required for a high conflict divorce. 

Divorce is not just the end of a marriage; it’s a legal process that involves the division of assets, debts, and, if applicable, the determination of child custody and support. An experienced divorce attorney provides the legal expertise and guidance needed to navigate this complex process. They can help you understand your rights, the laws in your state, and the potential outcomes of your case.

“A common mistake that women make is to hire an attorney based on the recommendation of someone else.”

4 Reasons You Need A Divorce Attorney:

1. Legal Complexity:

Divorce laws vary by state and can be complex. An attorney can help you navigate the legal system, ensuring that you comply with all legal requirements, filing deadlines, and necessary documentation. 

2. Financial Implications:

An attorney can help protect your financial interests, ensuring a fair division of assets and liabilities. Without legal guidance, you may overlook important financial considerations or agree to a settlement that is not in your best interest.

3. Emotional Stress:

Divorce is an emotionally charged process. An attorney can act as an objective third party, helping you make informed decisions without being swayed by emotions. These professionals also help you understand realistic expectation from a divorce settlement while maximizing your ability to retain assets and set yourself up for your future. 

4. Time and Efficiency:

An attorney can expedite the divorce process by handling paperwork, negotiations, and court appearances, allowing you to focus on rebuilding your life. In addition, in high conflict cases, the attorneys can negotiate without the emotion and frustration experienced by the couple, leading to better settlements, lower overall legal fees, and a faster divorce. 

How To Hire A Divorce Attorney:

1. Determine Your Needs:

Evaluate complexity of your divorce, your financial situation, and how you have been able to solve complex issues with your partner in the past. This will help you determine the level of expertise and support you need from an attorney, with higher conflict cases typically best handled by highly experienced attorneys who have dealt with these types of cases. 

2. Research and Referrals:

Start by asking for referrals from friends, family, or professionals like financial advisors or therapists. Research potential attorneys online, paying attention to their experience, areas of specialization, and client reviews. Read any articles they have published about divorce, and even consider following them on social media and seeing what they post, share, and comment on. 

“Start by asking for referrals from friends, family, or professionals like financial advisors or therapists.”

3. Interview Prospective Attorneys:

Schedule consultations with a few attorneys to discuss your case and assess their compatibility with your needs. Ask about their experience with cases similar to yours, their approach to divorce cases, and their fee structure. The attorney should be able to answer your questions or give you approximations based on their past experience with similar divorce cases. 

4. Assess Compatibility:

It’s essential to choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and can communicate openly. You’ll be sharing personal and sensitive information with them, so trust and rapport are crucial. It is also essential to ask how much access you will have to the attorney. In some firms, most communication is done by paralegals or support staff, which could mean you are waiting for answers rather than speaking directly with your lawyer. 

5. Consider the Cost:

Understand the attorney’s fee structure, including hourly rates, retainer fees, and any additional costs. While cost is an important factor, it shouldn’t be the sole criterion for your decision. Investing in an experienced attorney can save you money and stress in the long run.

6. Make an Informed Decision:

After your consultations, take the time to reflect on your interactions with each attorney. Consider their expertise, communication style, and your level of comfort with them before making your final decision.

Hiring a divorce attorney is a crucial step in ensuring that your rights and interests are protected during the divorce process. As a divorce coach, I encourage my clients to approach this decision with care and due diligence. Take the time to find a legal professional who aligns with your needs and values, and who can guide you through this challenging time while staying true to your goals. 

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Mardi Winder-Adams

About the Author:

Mardi Winder-Adams is an Executive and Leadership Coach, Certified Divorce Transition Coach, and a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator in Texas. She has experienced her own divorce, moved to a new country and started her own business, and worked through the challenges of being a caregiver and managing the loss of a spouse.

Handling life transitions and pivots is her specialty! In her professional role as a divorce coach, Mardi has helped hundreds of women before, during, and after divorce to reduce the emotional and financial costs of the process. She is the founder of Positive Communication Systems, LLC.