There are over 76,258 divorce lawyers employed in the US. Before filing for a divorce, however, it’s important to find the one lawyer who can help. Otherwise, you might miss an essential step when building your case.
Here are the seven tips you need when searching for a qualified divorce lawyer in Madison, WI. With these tips, you can find a lawyer who will simplify the process for you.
Filing for a divorce is complicated enough. Instead of making the mistake of choosing the wrong lawyer, start your search with these easy tips.
1. Ask Your Inner Circle
First, it’s important not to wait until things get serious to start searching for a divorce attorney. It can take anywhere from months to years to decide your marriage is reaching an end. If you’re exploring your options, it helps to consult a lawyer right away.
Your lawyer can give you an estimate of what you’ll need to finance your divorce. They’ll also help you recognize the steps you need to take before filing for divorce. Otherwise, you could end up in court without the documents you need.
In order to start your searching for a divorce lawyer, ask around. Do you have any friends who have worked through a divorce? Do they have a lawyer they would recommend?
Make sure your friend or family member was satisfied with the process and outcome of their divorce.
Did they have any issues when working with their divorce lawyer? How were those issues resolved? Do they wish they’d chosen someone else?
You can also head online to start your search. Gather a list of potential lawyers to speak to based on their skill and professional reputation.
Feel free to check level directory websites to find reputable lawyers in your area as well.
Related Article: Understanding What the Divorce Process Actually Looks Like in Practice
2. Bring Your Documents
As you continue your search for a divorce attorney, it helps to come prepared. There are a few documents you’ll want to gather before meeting your lawyer in Madison, WI.
First, take the time to review your family’s financial situation. Make sure you know how much debt your family is in, as well as the type of debts you’ve acquired over the years. Do you have any investments?
How much does your family spend each month?
In order to distribute assets and debts equally, you’ll need to understand your financial situation before reaching a settlement.
Gather documents that note your income and your spouse’s. These can include salary documents, income tax returns, and pay stubs.
You’ll also need to gather phone records, car documents, mortgages, and any shared online account documents. Gathering this evidence can help your lawyer build your case.
Then, schedule a free, initial consultation with a few different lawyers. Meeting with more than one lawyer can help you gauge their abilities.
During your meeting, you might want to ask questions such as:
- What costs, expenses, and fees am I responsible for?
- What is your hourly rate and how will you bill me?
- Will I see a progress report as you build my case?
- What estimate can you give me for the total cost of the divorce?
- Will you personally handle my divorce negotiations?
- What’s the best way to contact you?
Having a list of questions prepared will give you the chance to evaluate the lawyer’s communication skills and personality. Do you feel comfortable around them? If not, keep looking.
3. Determine Their Experience
Before choosing a divorce attorney, take the time to learn more about their experience and expertise.
There are 787,251 divorces filed in the US within a year. How many cases has your attorney handled?
Find out how long have they practiced law? Many law firms are now resorting to hiring inexperienced grads. Research how long they have they specialized in divorce law? A recent law grad is not a divorce expert.
Choosing a lawyer who has specialized in divorce law over the years will give you peace of mind about their abilities. After all, people learn by doing. A lawyer who specializes is also more likely to remain up-to-date with procedures and laws that could benefit you in the long-run.
Their experience and expertise will ensure you have someone at your side, ready to argue on your behalf. They’ll help you make sure your divorce reaches a fair settlement.
During your free consultation, make sure to discuss your goal with your lawyer. What are you hoping to get out of the divorce? If there are major assets or children involved, your separation could end up reaching a courtroom.
On the other hand, you and your spouse might agree to navigate your separation outside of court. In that case, you might need an attorney who has experience as a mediator. They can help you avoid an intense trial by ensuring you and your spouse reach a fair settlement.
4. Review Their Track Record
If you want to learn more about a divorce attorney’s abilities, research their track record. How have they helped their previous clients? What was the outcome of their most recent settlements?
When meeting with your attorney, don’t feel hesitant to ask questions. After all, you want to make sure you’re working with a qualified lawyer. Asking about their track record will give you peace of mind about their abilities.
5. Make Sure They’re Licensed
Before hiring an attorney in Madison, WI, make sure they’re licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. To double-check, you can visit your local bar association website. Is their license up-to-date?
If it’s not, cross them off your list.
6. Speak With References
You can also learn more about a lawyer’s professional reputation by speaking with their clients. Ask the lawyer if they can provide references and reviews.
Make sure to verify these references yourself. If you have any questions about how the lawyer conducts themselves, you can ask their clients about their experience.
7. Review the Contract
During your consultation, you have a chance to discuss the specifics of your divorce. Your lawyer can give you advice on how to proceed. Do they feel confident in their abilities to represent you?
Don’t forget to review the specifics of their contract, too. How are their fees structured? Will you pay on a contingency fee basis or will they work on a retainer?
Make sure to review everything included in the contract before signing on the dotted line.
Start Your Search: 7 Tips for Finding a Divorce Attorney in Madison, WI
Ready to find a qualified divorce attorney in Madison, WI? With these tips, you can find an experienced lawyer ready to handle the specifics of your divorce. They’ll remain by your side throughout the process and keep your best interests in mind.
Eager to get started? Contact us today to discuss your divorce with our team of qualified lawyers.