The Second Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make
It’s the romantic line in an intense RomCom – this is the most important decision you’ll ever make.
Of course, in that context, the actor is likely referring to the decision to marry someone. I’m well-versed in what may be the second most important decision you’ll ever make: choosing a divorce lawyer.
Yeah, it’s a bit sour grapes to put these two ideas together, but I got your attention, didn’t I? And even more importantly, both statements are true.
Choosing a Life Partner
Many people marry when they are young and idealistic. Choosing a life partner at that stage can be a crap shoot. Maybe it works out, and maybe it doesn’t. It takes a lot of hard work and an enduring commitment from both partners.
What long-time married folks will tell you is that a more important decision than whom you marry is the decision you make every morning when you open your eyes and glance over at the snoring lump in the bed beside you: the decision to look for the good in your partner every day to ensure that you stay married, and enjoy doing so.
When to Choose a Divorce Lawyer
Unfortunately, many people have not gotten the memo on this important decision. Successful marriages are not made by romance or luck or choosing well. They’re made by overlooking the things that annoy you about your spouse and focusing instead on the qualities you appreciate about them.
When you can no longer do this, it’s time to make another important decision: choose a divorce lawyer to walk alongside you through the process of ending your marriage.
So, how do you make that right choice? With four easy steps:
Ask for referrals.
Friends, family, colleagues, neighbors. Ask around for recommendations of family law attorneys hired by people you trust. When they give you a name and a number, ask more questions – what, exactly, did you like about this person? What do they do well? What is NOT their expertise?
Decide on your divorce path.
This requires research and knowledge. Do you want a Collaborative Divorce? Litigation? Mediation? The most amicable divorce on the planet? Your chosen approach will lead you to people who specialize in practicing the way you want to go. And while you’re researching, check out the credentials and reviews of the lawyers referred to you. Anyone with a besmirched reputation should be crossed off the list.
While your best friend might have loved her attorney, you might find out that the personality doesn’t match yours once you meet. Most attorneys will give free consultations where you can try each other on for size, and see if you’ll work well together. Take advantage of this, and take your time will doing so. Once you lock in on something, it can be gazelle-intense into the process.
Set a budget.
I’m the first to admit, legal representation is not a cheap endeavor. Be realistic with yourself and your potential attorney regarding how much you have to spend. This can be an important deciding factor that determines what path you take or whom you hire.
Are you looking for a family law attorney? Set up a free consultation with me, and we’ll see if it’s a fit!