In a recent interview, top family law attorney Daryl Weinman, founder of Weinman & Associates, P.C. in Austin, TX, discussed the 5 most important qualities that a divorce attorney must have. —
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When asked to comment, she said, "Dissolving a marriage is one of the most difficult experiences in a person’s life, which makes it hard but also crucial to find the right representation. Here's what to look for when hiring a divorce attorney."
One of the first things to ask a potential divorce attorney about is their skills and experience.
"No two divorce cases are exactly alike. Divorces tend to impact every aspect of life, so it's crucial to find someone who can take on the complexities and details of your case. Furthermore, you want to have someone who has resolved cases that are like yours. If, for example, you or your partner has a significant net worth, then you should find out if your attorney has successfully managed similar cases," she explained.
Communication skills are also something to be on the lookout for.
"The ability of your lawyer to communicate well is essential. They need to be able to easily and clearly communicate with you, and you should feel at ease in expressing any worries and expectations throughout the process. In this way, you'll know what's happening each step of the way and your expectations will be set accordingly," she said.
Weinman added that excellent communication skills also help negotiate a resolution, which could keep costs down in the long run.
Following this, it's also important to find someone who is readily available and has solid support staff.
When asked to elaborate, Weinman said, "As you're shopping for attorneys, make sure to ask how long it takes them to respond to questions and who else in the office can help them when the attorney is tied up. A competent divorce attorney will ensure that you receive timely responses and will set aside time to dedicate to your case."
She also pointed out that divorce is very personal and very emotional and it is important that you feel that your attorney is listening to you and understands your concerns. If you don’t feel heard by your attorney or their staff, interview other attorneys until you feel that you have found the person who understands your situation and will work well with you. Also, be careful not to hire an attorney who simply tells you what you want to hear, or promises you results that may not be realistic. The reality of divorce is not always pretty, but it’s better to have a realistic understanding of your situation and to make decisions based in reality, than to waste your time and money chasing unrealistic expectations.
Composure is another essential quality a divorce attorney must have.
"While there are certain things we can expect from the divorce process, not everything goes as planned. When something unexpected happens, you'll want a lawyer who works well under pressure and can continue to keep your best interests in mind while doing so. In other words, you don't want someone who will go off the rail easily and can focus and act professionally," she explained.
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