Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult times in anyones life, especially if children are involved.
Select a divorce attorney who embraces mediation as an option
Even if you opt for a divorce settlement via mediation, enlisting the aid of a divorce lawyer remains essential. This is especially true if your attempts at divorce mediation do not yield a complete resolution.
Even the most straight forward situations can pose complexities that require the services of a professional family lawyer. In this article, Malerie Rose, a Divorce Lawyer in Mississauga, outlines 5 of the main reasons you don’t want to go it alone and hire a reputable lawyer for your divorce proceedings.
Nevertheless, certain divorce attorneys may exhibit reluctance toward mediation. Some consider it distasteful and inconsistent with the nature of divorce, as their profession often operates within an adversarial framework rather than a cooperative one.
Yet, there are divorce lawyers who recognize the advantages of mediation and are willing to support your endeavor to achieve a successful divorce settlement through this method. These are the attorneys you should seek out. Inquire about their history of successful mediations. An experienced divorce lawyer who can showcase numerous instances of favorable mediation outcomes for their clients likely has a genuine appreciation for the mediation process. Conversely, an attorney unable to provide such examples might not genuinely endorse mediation and might be best avoided.
Certain lawyers are notorious for derailing mediation processes. I am personally acquainted with several such instances. When clients inform me of their intention to retain these lawyers, I advise against pursuing mediation, as the process is likely to yield little progress.
Additionally, while it might be reasonable for attorneys to be present during certain mediation sessions, their consistent attendance is unnecessary. This can hinder the mediation process, as the primary objective is to empower the spouses to navigate sessions guided by a mediator, not the attorneys.
Moreover, the presence of lawyers during mediation elevates costs, as you and your spouse will be responsible for compensating three professionals instead of one. Coordinating schedules to accommodate all three parties can also be a challenge.
The core purpose of divorce mediation is to minimize the involvement of lawyers in the divorce process. Attorneys acknowledge this reality but may not necessarily embrace it. It’s crucial not to permit them to intrude into sessions where their presence is unwarranted.
Instead, opt for a family lawyer who possesses the patience required for mediation. This process often entails explaining intricate technical and legal aspects, which can be challenging for lawyers accustomed to clients who seldom pose questions and blindly rely on their judgment.
Remember, much of mediation can transpire without the constant presence of lawyers. With adequate preparation and the guidance of a lawyer who is willing to help you comprehend complex matters, mediation can progress smoothly. An attorney who navigates this process with grace and patience is an advantageous choice. Conversely, if a lawyer makes matters seem convoluted or conveys information condescendingly, continue your search for a more suitable legal representative.
Select a lawyer committed to ethical practices
When selecting a divorce lawyer, it’s imperative to choose an attorney who refrains from resorting to unethical strategies and maneuvers. If the attorney you’re considering is willing to employ dubious methods to achieve results, it’s advisable to avoid hiring them. Employing underhanded tactics and tricks will not foster an environment conducive to a harmonious divorce settlement.
It’s important to note that after conducting a professional consultation, if you find that the lawyer could potentially resort to unsavory practices, they may become ‘conflicted out.’ This means they won’t be able to represent your spouse in the divorce proceedings.
This is why you might occasionally receive advice to consult with lawyers known for their aggressive approach. Although this might entail a financial cost, it allows you to eliminate them from consideration as your spouse’s representation, thereby averting potential complications.
So, what constitutes “dirty tricks”? Regrettably, some divorce cases have been marred by a range of unsavory tactics, such as:
- Depleting the family’s financial resources or accessing safety deposit boxes without authorization
- Utilizing threats of custody battles to gain financial advantages
- Employing threats to seize family assets
Any divorce attorney endorsing such manipulative tactics should be avoided, as their involvement is likely to hinder your chances of achieving a smooth and equitable resolution.
Opt for a divorce attorney with fair fees
When it comes to the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer, it’s important to strike a balance between quality and affordability. While quality legal representation doesn’t come cheap, there exists a significant disparity in the fees charged by lawyers possessing comparable skills and experience.
During your consultation with potential divorce lawyers, one of the foremost inquiries to make is about their hourly rate. Delve into their billing practices and gain insights into their cost expectations for your case. To make informed decisions, conduct prior research to ascertain what constitutes reasonable fees in your geographical region. Request references of other legal professionals or accountants they have collaborated with to further validate their credibility.
Lawyers charging fees that align with the average for your locale should be taken into consideration. Conversely, attorneys demanding fees well above the norm might warrant avoidance.
The gender of your attorney – It Truly doesn’t Matter
During the process of divorce, some individuals believe that matching their gender with their lawyer’s gender is necessary. However, drawing from my decade-long experience in this field, I’ve encountered no substantiated evidence supporting this gender-oriented preference.
The attributes that define an exceptional divorce lawyer are not confined to any particular gender. I’m acquainted with leading divorce lawyers in Ontario, encompassing both males and females. Similarly, I’ve come across underperforming lawyers among both genders. Remarkable divorce lawyers in Ontario can be found in both male and female representatives, and this scenario likely mirrors the situation in your local vicinity.
Therefore, when selecting an attorney, the primary determinants should revolve around their character, fee structure, and your confidence in their capabilities. Their gender should be irrelevant. There exists no dichotomy between ideal divorce lawyers for men and the best divorce lawyers for women. The crucial aspect is finding the divorce lawyer who aligns with your specific needs.
Select a lawyer who can devote sufficient time to your case
Few things are as frustrating as engaging a divorce lawyer who lacks the availability required to properly handle your case. During your quest for a divorce lawyer, you’ll encounter individuals who are new to the field and consequently possess ample time due to their limited clientele. Conversely, some might be inundated with work to the extent that they delegate significant portions of their workload to associates.
A well-organized legal practice should ensure that your chosen divorce lawyer can dedicate appropriate time to your case, having undertaken a workload that aligns with their capacity.
However, identifying an overburdened lawyer is usually straightforward:
- They exhibit tardiness in responding to your calls or those from your spouse’s attorney.
- They submit documents at the eleventh hour.
- They seek delays and adjournments in legal proceedings due to inadequate time for handling matters.
An overworked attorney can be detrimental for various reasons:
- Increased stress levels might compromise their ability to provide optimal work and full attention.
- Your case may experience delays and unnecessary extensions, leaving your family in a state of uncertainty before resolutions are achieved.
In the context of divorce, expediting a settlement is preferable, and a lawyer who can allocate ample time to your case will facilitate a more prompt resolution.