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How to Hire an Orlando Divorce Lawyer?
Having the support, guidance, and legal advice of an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer can make the divorce process less stressful. Hiring a divorce attorney can also help you protect your rights in the divorce proceeding.
Are you contemplating a divorce, or have you been served with divorce papers? What do you need to know before you hire an Orlando divorce lawyer? Learn more in this guide to hiring a divorce attorney in Orlando.
Ask Trusted Individuals for Referrals
Searching for a divorce attorney can be overwhelming. How do you choose a good divorce lawyer when you know nothing about any of the lawyers practicing in Orlando? You may ask friends, family members, and co-workers for recommendations.
Personal recommendations for a divorce lawyer from prior clients can be invaluable as you search for an attorney. A personal reference means that the individual has witnessed the lawyer’s services firsthand. It is more than just knowing that an attorney is a good person.
One disadvantage of a personal reference is the outcome of the person’s case. A person is more likely to give a positive reference when they receive the desired outcome for their divorce. Therefore, you must weigh the person’s expectations versus the actual outcome in the case when considering personal references for a divorce lawyer.
Online Reviews and Reputation
Online reviews are another way to judge whether you want to hire a divorce lawyer. You can read reviews from prior clients and reviews from peers (i.e., Martindale-Hubbell).
Keep in mind that online reviews from prior clients are often based on the outcome of their case. Therefore, you can expect an attorney to have some negative reviews. It is important to consider the details provided in the review when giving weight to a specific review.
Experience Handling Divorce Cases
You want to hire a divorce lawyer with substantial experience handling divorce cases. Look for lawyers who have been practicing for several years. When meeting with a divorce lawyer for a consultation, ask the attorney how long they have practiced law, how much of their practice is focused on divorces, and whether they hold special certifications.
You should also verify that the attorney is in good standing and admitted to practice law in Florida. The Florida State Bar’s Lawyer Directory provides a great deal of information about attorneys, including when they were admitted to practice law in Florida and their 10-year discipline history.
Meet with Several Divorce Lawyers for Initial Consultations
When you narrow your list to two or three lawyers, schedule an initial consultation with each attorney. Meeting an attorney face-to-face is the best way to judge whether you get along with the lawyer. Effective communication and a good attorney-client relationship are essential when choosing an Orlando divorce lawyer.
Questions to ask the lawyer during your initial consultation include:
How much experience do you have handling divorce cases?
How often do you argue divorce cases in court?
What can I expect regarding communication about my case?
Who will handle my case?
Do you see any potential problems in my case?
How well do you know the local family courts and judges?
What is your experience handling divorce cases similar to my case?
What types of mediation and alternative resolution methods do you use to avoid litigation?
What are your attorneys’ fees, and how do you charge me for services?
During the initial consultation, watch for red flags that indicate you might not want to hire the attorney.
For example, does the attorney make bold promises and guarantees? If so, be cautious because even the best attorney cannot guarantee a specific outcome in your case. Instead, a good divorce lawyer offers sound legal advice that is straightforward and honest.
Also, consider whether the lawyer listens to you. An attorney must listen to their client to analyze a case and offer sound legal advice. If the attorney does all the talking, it could indicate that you need to continue searching for a divorce lawyer in Orlando.
Why Do I Need to Hire an Orlando Divorce Lawyer?
For a simple uncontested divorce, a person might consider filing for divorce without a lawyer. However, Simplified Dissolution of Marriage only applies in specific situations. Even with a simplified divorce, things can go wrong that could negatively impact your future.
Consider what is at stake when deciding whether to hire a divorce lawyer. A divorce can impact many areas of your life. In some cases, divorce terms could have long-term impacts on your finances and relationship with your children.
Before you decide to file for divorce without a lawyer, consider these factors:
Hiring a lawyer means you have someone on your side fighting for what is in your best interest.
A divorce lawyer helps you protect the best interests of your children.
Divorce law is complex. It is beneficial to have someone who understands the law and how to use Florida divorce laws to your benefit.
The divorce process can be stressful. Having an attorney’s guidance and support can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Hiring a divorce lawyer gives you a better chance of achieving your desired outcome.
Your lawyer fights to ensure you are treated fairly.
When you have a lawyer, you do not need to worry about navigating the courts and understanding court rules and processes.
Attorneys help you make critical decisions based on logic instead of emotions.
Divorce lawyers can streamline the process and avoid mistakes that could prolong your divorce.
Lawyers handle the massive amount of paperwork necessary to file and obtain a divorce.
One of the benefits of hiring an Orlando divorce lawyer is that you have someone to handle communications and negotiations with your spouse. Even when both spouses want a divorce, negotiating the divorce terms can be complicated. Emotions could get in the way, causing a contested divorce.
Contact an Orlando Divorce Attorney for Help
A divorce lawyer is compassionate but level-headed. They view your case in terms of how the divorce impacts your future as well as your present situation. Therefore, even though you might be caught up in the moment, you have someone focused on obtaining a result that will benefit you and your children now and in the future.