How do I find the right attorney for my divorce or custody dispute?
Selecting the right family attorney can have a significant impact on the way your divorce is handled. With so many factors to consider, the decision can feel overwhelming, especially if you have never worked with an attorney before. The Family Law Practice at The Lynch Law Group knows that keeping several key points in mind while you navigate this decision-making process can both alleviate your anxieties and assist in finding the right counsel for you.
What type of process do you want?
Before picking up the phone to make calls to nearby law offices, consider process options. There are several process options available to you to address your divorce or custody conflict.
You may choose to have the Court address your case and make decisions.
You may choose mediation, where a neutral, third-party mediator facilitates a conversation and negotiation between parties, with the goal of reaching a settlement.
You may choose Collaboration, a process in which both parties hire Collaboratively trained attorneys to help reach a mutually acceptable divorce or custody settlement without a battle in Court.
If you are unsure as to which process is best for you, scheduling a consult with one or more family law attorneys can equip you with the necessary information about your options. While some cases do require court intervention, litigation is oftentimes not your only option.
Conduct your own research
With a little research, you can obtain a good deal of information about an attorney even before scheduling a meeting. Friends and family members who have used family law attorneys can be a valuable source for recommendations. If you have a financial advisor or mental health professional, they may know an attorney who can help. Asking the advice of an attorney whom you already know and who works in a different area of the law can also be extremely helpful. If you are connected to social media and comfortable discussing your divorce openly, Facebook friends and other social media connections may have experience choosing family law attorneys as well.
There is a great deal of attorney information available online. Attorney rating services (Super Lawyers, Avvo, etc.) can help to find a family law attorney in your geographical location. Many of these sites also have client or professional testimonies to provide additional information and insight.
You may also contact your local county Bar Association, as many have referral programs in place. If you are concerned regarding the cost of hiring an attorney, this is a good option to help you find a professional that can help.
Once you have gathered some names, you can search for each attorney and their firms’ websites for more valuable information. Many attorneys publish articles and blogs that can provide insight into their practices and approaches.
Have your questions prepared
Once you have selected and scheduled a meeting with the family law attorney(s) you wish to consult with, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the meeting. Always come to the consult with questions that you feel can help you choose your attorney. Don’t be afraid to write your questions down and take them with you to the meeting so you don’t forget. For guidance in drafting these questions for your prospective attorney, read more here.
Your ultimate goal should be to select a family law attorney who you feel will best help you through the divorce and/or custody process. Your attorney is your partner on what can be a difficult and emotional journey. Investing the time and energy in identifying the factors most important to you and in thoroughly evaluating your options will help you make the best possible decision for your situation.
- What is Collaborative Law?
- Navigating Divorce in PA: Your Divorce FAQs Answered
- Top 10 Divorce Don’ts
Pittsburgh Family Law Attorneys
Liberty J. Weyandt, Esq. leads the Family Law Practice at The Lynch Law Group. She is dedicated to assisting clients who are seeking solutions to complex family law matters. In addition to extensive, traditional litigation experience, Liberty is also a trained Collaborative Law attorney and Mediator.
Please contact Liberty at (724) 776-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about divorce proceedings or other family law matters.