How to Choose the Right Divorce LawyerMarybeth Sampsel
Selecting your divorce lawyer is one of the most important decisions of your case, especially in the small legal communities of Montana. Ideally, you will find an attorney who is skilled, competent, and regularly handles family law and divorce cases. Also, look for someone who is responsive and going to communicate with you during the divorce process. Active and positive communication with your attorney will make a positive difference throughout your case. You can ask friends and family members for recommendations, but in the end you will have to trust your own judgment.
Generally, your relationship with your divorce lawyer starts with a consultation. This initial meeting usually lasts about an hour and is your first glimpse into what your prospective-attorney is like. First impressions matter. Remember, it is not just you who will be interacting with this person: adverse attorneys, judges, and possibly even a jury will all experience something very similar to what you go through during the consultation. Make sure that this is a person you want representing you and your interests. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions. If you knew all the answers, there would be no need for lawyers. And pay attention to how the prospective lawyer reacts. Is he annoyed? Does he actually answer your question, or at least try to? Some attorneys, especially those who do not practice divorce law very often may not have a firm grasp of the laws involved, and to cover for this inadequacy may simply dodge the question entirely. That being said, I am occasionally asked a question during a consultation for which I do not have an immediate answer. I always acknowledge this, make a note of the issue, and promise to get back to them once I have had a chance to research it. If a divorce lawyer promises to get back to you with an answer, make sure that they actually do.
Remember, this is your chance to evaluate a prospective divorce lawyer. Take advantage of it. This is a person you will be sharing intimate details regarding a personal and painful period of your life. It should be someone you trust to be knowledgeable and to look out for your best interests.