The Most Important Guidelines to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

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For most people, having their marriage go sour and lead to divorce seems like a bad dream. However, what seems like a bad dream is the reality for many people. In this current generation, around 50% of marriages end up in divorce.

With such high divorce rates, many people often find themselves looking for divorce lawyers. Divorce lawyers are necessary during any divorce proceedings to represent your interests and rights and protect them during the proceedings. 

It is not uncommon to hear people complaining and stating that their divorce lawyers made them lose the case and in turn a lot of cash and property. Ending up choosing a poorly skilled divorce lawyer is a terrible experience for anyone. It is, therefore, vital that one carefully chooses a divorce lawyer who will represent them well. 

There are a couple of tips and guidelines that one should keep in mind when choosing a divorce lawyer. This article goes through some of the guidelines that people should follow.

1. Set Expectations for The Lawyer

The divorce process is often a lengthy one that entails many processes. Due to the duration taken up by the divorce process, it can be easy for one to diverge and demand the lawyer or attorney to do a task that was not their job.

The most common statement by divorce lawyers is that clients often end up seeking divorce counseling from lawyers. With this, most lawyers often clarify the fact that they handle legal counsel and not divorce counseling.

It is therefore important that you create a list of expectations you have of your lawyer. You should then use this list when hiring a divorce lawyer. Inform every lawyer of the tasks you expect them to handle so that they can agree or decline if they can achieve the set expectations. 

Some examples of expectations of your divorce lawyer are:

  1. Handling negotiations with your soon-to-be ex-partner
  2. Handling all asset and legal property division

If you will require your divorce attorney to offer assistance in a non-legal aspect of the proceedings, it is important to state it beforehand. Stating the expectations you have of your lawyer helps ensure that at the end of the divorce proceedings, every party involved is proud of the results.

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2. Analyze the Kind of Divorce you Will Have

To many people, divorce seems like a term that means the same for all people going through a divorce. However, divorce varies among people. The main division in divorce for most people is the type of divorce they have. The type of divorce one has can be categorized into three main groups:

  1. Amicable divorce
  2. Undefended Divorce
  3. Conflictual divorce

An amicable divorce is one whereby the divorcing partners are both willing to divorce and they are friendly towards each other. This makes the divorce process much easier. An undefended divorce is one whereby one partner files for divorce and states their demands and the other party agrees without contesting. These two types of divorces are often easy and can be handled faster than conflictual divorces.

A conflictual divorce is one whereby there is a lot of anger and resentment between the divorcing people. Conflictual divorces often end up with lawyers negotiating on behalf of their clients. In extreme cases, they can end up being in court whereby a judge decided on the marital property division, child custody, etc.

Depending on how your marriage ended up in divorce, one can easily know what kind of divorce they will have. Knowing the kind of divorce that you will have is important because it helps one choose a lawyer well. Some lawyers are specialized in dealing with conflictual divorces. 

Knowing the kind of divorce that you will have is especially important if you will have a conflictual divorce. This is because very few lawyers have the experience and skills to handle conflictual divorce cases. 

When choosing a divorce lawyer, you should inform them as early as possible that your divorce will be conflictual. This will enable lawyers who do not deal with conflictual divorces to refer you to some.

3. Legal Fees

Working on the computer

When choosing a divorce lawyer, one has to consider the legal fees that each lawyer charges. To many people, this would beg the question, how much does a divorce cost in Virginia? Legal fees vary based on various factors such as the experience a lawyer has, the value one ties to their time, etc.

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Before deciding to choose one lawyer over the others, you should set a budget for the legal fees you are willing to spend. The budget you make for your legal fees should also be representative of the kind of divorce you think you will have.

Based on numerous previous divorces, amicable divorces that have no conflict, often called no-fault divorces, end quite fast. Fault divorce cases, on the other hand, can go on for several years. Fault divorces comprise factors such as divorce abandonment, abuse, etc. This is why it is common to hear people complaining about the legal fees in conflictual divorces. Such people are often found to have disregarded the length of the legal proceedings when coming up with their legal fees budget.

When working on a budget for your legal fees, it is often important to remind yourself of what is at stake. Being cheap on your legal fees budget can be a decision you regret for the rest of your life once the divorce proceedings are finalized.  

4. Online Recommendations

In our current era, the internet has made it quite easy to seek professional services and get to read comments from previous clients. When looking for a divorce lawyer, you should also consider the online reviews of a lawyer or a law firm before hiring them to represent you. 

You can look up the type of legal cases that a lawyer handles. This helps ensure that a lawyer has experience in family matters to raise your chances of getting the lawyer to represent you well.

However, when using online recommendations, do some due diligence on how to detect fake reviews. This will help ensure that you do not get fooled by fake reviews about a lawyer or legal firm. 


While choosing a divorce lawyer seems like a life and death issue, it is important to know that you have the freedom to change your lawyer at any point. If you feel that the lawyer you have chosen to represent you is not skilled enough, you can fire them and hire another lawyer.