If you require lawyers in downriver Michigan, you will find the following guide helpful in hiring a lawyer.
The very first step is to determine whether you require an attorney. Not all divorces require the services of an attorney. If you do not have any children and have few assets, then you and your spouse could agree on your own. You may also hire a neutral third-party mediator. But you may need to hire an attorney if your assets are complicated or if you cannot agree on child custody.
Ask for recommendations from friends and relatives. Even if none of them know any family law attorneys, they might be able to suggest an attorney who in turn could recommend a good divorce lawyer.
Research online. There are various web sites that assist individuals in finding lawyers. A good place to start is the American Bar Association’s Division for Legal Services.
Find an attorney that specializes in family law. Check if the lawyer is board certified. Board certification guarantees that the lawyer is an expert and has a good reputation within the legal community.
Visit the web sites of the attorney. Read the attorney’s work history, background and biography. Look out for details that will make you comfortable with the lawyer.
Check the records of your local bar association. Check the lawyer’s practice and license record. Check if there’s an inordinate amount of formal complaints filed against the lawyer or if the lawyer has had any disciplinary actions.
Make an appointment. You should have at least three lawyers on your list. You should not hire the first lawyer you encounter. You should interview all lawyers on your list before making a decision. Some lawyers may charge a consultation fee while others may not.
Be prepared for your appointment. Your prospective attorney will be best able to assess your case if you are completely honest about your financial and marital history. Carry with you a complete list of sources of income, debts and assets.
Ask questions. Since will be hiring a lawyer, you should treat each consultation as a job interview. Ask the attorney how long he has been practicing family law.
Observe the lawyer’s focus and demeanor. Observe the lawyer’s body language and how he relates with you and with his staff.
Compare the lawyers on your list. For each lawyer on your list create a pros and cons list and evaluate them based on your specific needs.
Consider the cost. Some lawyers charge a flat rate while others charge by the hour.
Inform your first choice immediately. And inform the other lawyers on your list that you decided to go with another attorney.