Choosing a Divorce Attorney in Los Angeles, California
How to Choose the Best Divorce Lawyer for Your Case in Los Angeles County
There are a variety of considerations that a person contemplating divorce or separation should consider before hiring a family law attorney. Hiring a divorce lawyer may be more important than you anticipate, depending on the circumstances involved in your case.
Attorneys are people, and the work that lawyers do is called the “practice” of law. However, although no lawyer is perfect there are usually significant differences between lawyers that one should consider.
This guide will help you determine the right fit in a divorce lawyer for you.
Step One: Research your options.
The first step to finding a divorce attorney is to research what options are available to you. Excellent resources including online research including the lawyer’s website, Yelp, Avvo, Findlaw, Lawyers.com, or your local bar association (i.e. the Los Angeles County Bar Association).
Step Two: Make sure the attorney has positive reviews.
Many websites provide reviews about an attorney’s past performance from former clients. Keep in mind that not all reviews have to be perfect – many times disgruntled people post bad reviews about everything, including restaurants. However, the majority of the reviews should be positive. Additionally, you should be aware some firms seek out and badger their clients for good reviews. Obviously, beware of what you read on the internet – it is always best to actually contact a lawyer directly to ask about their experience, how they communicate with their clients, similar cases they may have handled, and how they handle divorce cases.
Step Three: Set up the initial interview with several divorce lawyers.
There is no reason to interview only one attorney. In fact, you should interview several attorneys. Most attorneys offer a free initial interview. We can tell you with certainty that paying for an initial consultation is not worth it. There is really no additional information an attorney that charges you for a half hour or hour of time could tell you that an attorney that provides a free initial consultation cannot. The reason is because most of the talking should be by you and the attorney should be listening and taking notes during the first meeting. Our office provides some general information that includes a description of the divorce (or other family law matter) process and we provide our potential clients with options.
Step Four: Choosing the attorney.
Here are some considerations you may want to think about when choosing your attorney:
- Does the attorney charge a reasonable hourly rate and is the retainer reasonable? Most good divorce attorneys in Los Angeles charge at least $400 per hour. The retainer deposit should be approximately the amount that the total divorce will cost if everything goes smoothly. The more cooperative parties and attorneys are, the cheaper a case will be. The attorney should be open and honest with you about the prospective cost. The more information you provide the divorce lawyer about your case, the better the attorney should be able to give you the likely prospective cost.
- Is the attorney a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) or does the firm have CLFS attorneys involved in the strategic management of cases? These lawyers are experts in family law and your attorney’s law firm should have access to these lawyers at all times. They will help successfully resolve your case and the overall cost will be reduced because of their involvement.
- Go with the attorney that YOU feel the most comfortable with. You will have a close relationship with your attorney over the next several months to a year. Go with the person you feel the most confident in and with the person that you feel most comfortable talking to. Why hire an attorney that you are scared to talk to or that is not respectful to you? There are excellent attorneys in Riverside County that are very personable but also extremely effective in negotiating family law settlements and litigating in court. The two traits are not mutually exclusive.
We hope you found this page informative. If our law firm is in the top of your list of attorneys to interview, please contact our office today. We do offer a free, private consultation and look forward to meeting with you today.