Divorce is an emotionally challenging and legally complex process that marks the end of a significant chapter in one’s life. When facing the dissolution of a marriage, it’s crucial to have the right legal representation by your side. A skilled and experienced divorce lawyer can provide invaluable guidance, protect your rights, and advocate for your best interests throughout the proceedings.
Choosing the right divorce lawyer is a critical decision that can significantly impact the outcome of your case. With numerous legal professionals specializing in family law, it’s essential to embark on a comprehensive selection process to ensure you find the perfect fit for your unique circumstances. In the following article, San Diego divorce lawyers outline essential factors to consider when choosing a reliable attorney for your case.
How do I choose a divorce lawyer in California?
Selecting a divorce lawyer requires careful consideration and research to ensure you find a legal professional who is well-versed in the state’s specific family law regulations and can effectively represent your interests throughout the divorce process. Here’s what to do:
Identify your goals
It’s important to identify your goals. Knowing your goals sets a starting point for your divorce and finding an attorney who can meet your goals.
Research family law attorneys
Search for a divorce attorney online through 3rd party sites such as Yelp or Avvo. These sites provide reviews and endorsements for attorneys. Once you find the names of a few attorneys, you should review these attorney’s websites. The websites will allow you to see the attorney’s practice areas, legal team, reviews, areas served, blogs, specializations, and information about their firm. This gives you background information and insight on the attorney and its law firm before meeting with them.
Interview multiple attorneys
Call multiple attorneys or their respective offices to set up an initial consultation. Meeting with these attorneys and understanding their different perspectives can allow you to make an informed decision on who you want to represent you.
Get a referral
A word-of-mouth referral from family or friends, especially those who have gone through a divorce, is a great way to discover a good attorney. You can also find referrals and testimonials about attorneys on Yelp or Avvo.
Ask questions at your consultation
At your consultation, ask as many questions as possible because this will allow you to get a sense of how an attorney will approach your matter. Use this time to understand your case, get to know the attorney, and the next steps to take in your case. Make sure to ask the attorney for their opinion on your case. They may be able to offer their expertise on issues you have not considered or overlooked.
Consider the cost
Hiring a divorce attorney is expensive. On average, family law attorneys in San Diego will charge $250 to $500 per hour and require an initial retainer, which is an advance payment. These funds will be deposited in your Client Trust Account, which typically needs to be replenished as more work is required on your case. These details should be in your Retainer Agreement.
Hire a local attorney
You should prioritize retaining a family law attorney who practices in your county because they will be more familiar with local court rules and procedures, as well as local judges. You should be able to find the areas served on any attorney’s website. To note, some law firms will not accept cases outside a familiar county.
When hiring a San Diego divorce attorney, you should consider the attorney’s years of experience and courtroom experience before hiring them. An experienced divorce attorney should have a substantial record in working and litigating cases.
Unlike other areas of civil law, family law covers a widespread of issues and laws under the Family Code, Civil Code, Evidence Code, Penal Code, Business & Professions Code, Juvenile Dependency laws, Government Code, Real Estate laws, and Tax laws. Your attorney should have proficient knowledge and experience with all these aspects of law.
If your case is complex, it would be wise to hire a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) to handle your case. A CFLS must have at least five years of experience in family law covering trials, hearings, mediation, community property division, child custody, spousal support, domestic violence proceedings, and many other areas. They need 45 hours of continuing education in family law and a passing score on the additional State Bar examination proving their expertise in family law.
You should find an attorney who makes you feel comfortable and allows you to be honest when discussing personal issues relevant to your case. It is imperative your attorney is aware of all important facts of your case because this will allow them to better represent you. You also need to ensure your attorney is actively listening to your goals instead of disregarding them. An attorney should be focused on representing their client’s goals throughout the divorce process. Last, make sure you do not feel pressure from your attorney. You should not feel pressured to retain an attorney or make a decision in your case when it goes against your wishes and/or goals.
Who are the best San Diego divorce lawyers?
At JWB Family Law, we prioritize your well-being and strive to alleviate the stress associated with family law matters across San Diego County. With our compassionate approach, unwavering dedication, and extensive knowledge, we’re committed to providing you with the highest level of legal representation.
Trust us to guide you through the complexities of property divisions, provide you with expertise so you can avoid mistakes, and skillfully handle both uncontested and contested divorces. Your future matters to us, and we’re here to protect your interests every step of the way.