Are you wondering how to choose a New York divorce attorney after deciding to separate from your spouse? Working with the right attorney can help you protect your interests and achieve your goals.
Ask these questions as you search for the right divorce attorney for you:
Questions to Ask Yourself
1. What Are Your Goals?
Think about your goals and desires for the divorce process before hiring an attorney. What kind of divorce do you want? What do you want your relationship with your spouse to look like during and after the divorce? What kind of impact do you want the divorce to have on your children?
Some divorcing parties want to burn bridges and never speak to their spouses again. Others want to remain on good terms, as they will be co-parenting their children and know they'll see each other at family events moving forward.
If you want an amicable relationship with your spouse and you want your children to experience a low-conflict divorce, you should hire an attorney who has those same goals as opposed to an attorney who is focused on a “win-at-all-costs” approach.
You need an attorney who can help you put your divorce in perspective, think long-term, and not make decisions based on anger or gut reactions. A level-headed attorney can help you understand and achieve your goals with your interests in mind.
2. What Is Your Communication Style?
Understanding your preferred communication style can also help you choose a New York divorce attorney who is a good fit. Ask yourself questions like:
- Do you prefer emails, video calls, phone calls, or texts?
- Do you have limited times you can communicate with your attorney, such as before and after work?
- Do you prefer prompt answers to questions? For example, if you prefer prompt communication, you may want to work with a law firm that has multiple attorneys or paralegals who are familiar with your matter, as opposed to having to wait for one attorney to get back to you on every issue that comes up.
Questions to Ask an Attorney
1. Is the Attorney Trained in Mediation/Collaborative Divorce?
We often work with clients who believe the only way to divorce is to go through the court system, but this isn't the case. Mediation or collaborative divorce may be preferable options, but you'll want to work with an attorney who is trained in these areas.
Divorce isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, and your attorney should be able to discuss all your options and help you find the divorce process that is best for you given your situation and long-term goals.
2. What Is Their Billing Process?
Some attorneys hide or misrepresent their fees, but your lawyer should be 100% upfront about how they bill for their time and what you can expect to pay, and when. This will help you to plan appropriately and discuss with your spouse how the divorce will be paid for.
3. Do They Specifically Practice Divorce Law?
This may seem intuitive, but be sure to work with an attorney who specifically practices divorce law in New York. Don't hire your brother-in-law who is a corporate lawyer or your cousin who is a divorce lawyer in Virginia. New York divorce law is unique and complex, and you need a professional well-versed in the state's specific protocols.
4. Do They Handle Everything Themselves?
You may think you'd be better off with an attorney who handles the entire process themself, but this is usually not true. Good attorneys know when to recommend you to other professionals who can help you through this emotional, challenging process. They also won't mislead you into thinking you need to pay an attorney's rates when you could receive certain services from other professionals. Your attorney may recommend a financial professional, a family coach, or a therapist to work alongside your legal team during the divorce. These professionals charge lower hourly rates than your lawyer and can save you money.
At Vacca Family Law Group, our dedicated divorce attorneys will provide personalized guidance and compassionate assistance as you navigate your divorce. Now that you know how to choose a New York divorce attorney, contact us today at 646-798-4740 to schedule a free initial call and learn whether we are the right divorce attorneys for your needs. We will answer all your tough questions!