There are several ways of finding the right solicitor or mediator for your divorce.
If you know someone in any area of the legal field, ask them whom they would personally select.
Another way is to query people that you value in the professional world who they would get for a divorce. That is how I found my solicitor when needing one in a hurry for my divorce. A man that I regularly did business with insisted that only one solicitor would do. I respected his opinion and this particular name came up again and again so that was who I hired to represent me in my divorce proceedings.
There is a lot to be said for word-of mouth recommendations. You hear about both the good family solicitors/ family mediators and the less stellar ones who bump up legal fees.
Information at the school gates can be valuable. Many of these parents have been through a divorce or know someone who has and can give some advice on this subject.
One mum at my son’s school warned me that my solicitor was like a pit bull – aggressive and occasionally bit its owner. This sage advice made my relationship easier with her, particularly when she was blunt or did not agree with me on some points.
Go online and see who is rated highly in Family Law and has won some professional awards.
If you have heard good things about certain law firms – see if they also do divorces. They want to maintain their esteemed reputations so will hire the brightest in their fields.
An online search for local listings gives one a beginning point. Go to the individuals’ web sites and also check out their law firms’ ones. See which ones are more appealing and follow up on those. This is also a way to see who is not, and avoid putting those names on your list.
Look at recommendations and low ratings online. Keep in mind a mediator or solicitor may have had 2000 clients who were ecstatically happy with them and their results. The one disgruntled former client may be the only person who submits a rating online, which may make that legal professional erroneously appear less effective.
There are some great divorce package deals online and that makes it easier to see who fits best for your budget.
Top law firms also participate in naming a specific price for various types of divorces. Some of the categories include: uncontested (when both parties agree on getting divorced), contested ones where one person may not want a divorce or has some other issue. The package may be for couples without children. The packages vary per law firm. If you are narrowing down solicitors, see of any advertise a packaged deal. If you really like someone, you can ask if they do any, if none are listed on the web site.
A divorce package has services bundled together for a certain price. If the divorce becomes quite complicated, then other ones may be added ala carte.
Many law firms offer a free initial consultation for a specified amount of time. This is a great way to see whom you click with and would be comfortable sharing your personal information.
It is easier having a face-to-face meeting with a few solicitors or mediators to get a sense if you two are a good match. Some law firms specialize in certain types of clients. If you are a high net-worth client, see who has been in the news lately for getting huge settlements for their clients. Some men may prefer going to a law firm that only accepts male clients for divorce.
Determine if you want to go the mediation route or if you want a solicitor. There are many articles in The Divorce Magazine that explain the differences and singularities to help you decide which one to choose.
Also determine if you want a collaborative divorce, where the solicitors work together in the process, or if you want to go to court. What you decide for the type of divorce process you desire, determines which legal professional that you will hire.
More and more family law solicitors are becoming certified as divorce mediators. If you are on the fence regarding which type of divorce you would like, consider this option. Select a divorce professional that is both a solicitor and mediator. They can go over collaborative vs mediation and work with you in deciding which way to go with your divorce.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.