Tips For Choosing A Divorce Lawyer

Tips For Choosing A Divorce Lawyer
June 18, 2024

Whether you are just beginning to consider divorce or have been pondering over it for a while, it may be something you have never done before and so do not know much about. Popular culture and others’ experiences can only teach us so much, and oftentimes the things we learn are not always true or may not pertain to us and our situation. Divorce is a very personal undertaking, and you want to be sure that during this emotionally and financially stressful time, you are able to work with a Cleveland divorce attorney who understands your situation and has your best interest at heart. 

At the Law Offices Of Cara L. Santosuosso, LLC our skilled collaborative divorce lawyers can help. Beyond advocating for your rights, we are also fundamentally concerned with preserving family relationships and creating the best possible outcome for you and your children. Choosing a divorce lawyer in Cleveland can be difficult–here are our best tips for things to keep in mind during the process.

Have A Goal, Stay Focused

When you chose to get divorced, you were likely focused on a relationship that had fallen apart over time. You were probably not fixated on material possessions and who gets what. However, any divorce can easily descend into an emotionally heated battle over assets. This isn’t good for anyone involved, and that is especially true if you have children. 

The goal for your (and every) divorce should be to handle the process with as little disruption or upheaval to your family’s life as possible. Working with a collaborative divorce lawyer, ensures that your rights will be protected  without minimal unnecessary time or money being spent on divorce litigation.

Know The Type Of Divorce You Want

The best kind of divorce for your unique situation will generally depend on your relationship with your soon-to-be-ex spouse. If you are both open to communicating and compromising for the sake of children and in order to reduce expenses, then everyone will be better off. Collaborative divorce is ideal for those who want to move on from a relationship with the least upset possible, and are willing to explore creative and practical problem-solving in asset division and allocation of parental rights.

Where there may be potential issues regarding children or finances, a mediator can use alternative dispute resolution methods to help you both come to an agreement. These trained professionals are able to steer potentially tense discussions where they need to go in order to come to a resolution and find answers to the most fundamental issues at play. This is done in a respectful and compassionate manner so that both parties can acknowledge and understand each other’s perspective, for the best outcome possible. 

Lastly, traditional divorce litigation is often the better option for those who cannot solve their complex issues on their own, have issues of physical or emotional abuse, or have highly contested financial or personal issues.  Those parties may be best served by a formal court case.

Interview Divorce Lawyers In Cleveland

Divorce is a weighty decision to make, so you want to be sure that the legal professional who is handling your case is the right one for you. Local divorce lawyers will be best suited to deal with relevant legal requirements specific to your region and will be familiar with the local family law judges. Your ideal divorce attorney should have the needed knowledge along with proven communication and negotiation skills necessary to properly handle your case.

Other than a targeted online search to find a divorce attorney in Cleveland, recommendations from friends and family members are always a good place to start. If you have other dealings with lawyers for matters of estate planning, they can also be a resource for you. Once you have chosen several attorneys to interview, an old-fashioned phone call can help you to determine a lot about them. Be sure they are open to answering all of your questions, and do not hesitate to ask about retainer requirements and hourly rates–that one data point can most help your decision-making process right from the start. It is also worth asking who their typical client is, as it can help to know if you fit their demographic and will be best served by their expertise.

When you find a divorce lawyer who you feel would work well on your behalf, you can schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your case. If the divorce lawyer has available online testimonials, that is a great place to get a feel for the quality of work they will do for you.

Important note: You want to choose your own personal legal representative for your divorce case–it is not generally recommended for both spouses to employ the same divorce attorney due to obvious potential conflicts of interest.

Keep An Eye Out For Red Flags

During divorce attorney interviews, pay attention to how they speak about other legal professionals. Are they disparaging? Or are they respectful? Anyone who is willing to engage in negative talk with you, will likely be more than happy to say negative things about you. This kind of behavior may also indicate a fundamental lack of respect for others, and it could indicate the way that you, or your soon to be ex-spouse, will be treated during your divorce proceedings.  Conflict costs money; beware of attorneys who may add to the conflict, rather than try to bring down the temperature of the proceedings.

Pay attention, too, to the interactions you have with your potential divorce attorney. Are they short with you? Does it seem that they are not actively listening when you are discussing your case? You should feel a sense of confidence that your case is being handled with care and professionalism when you interface with your lawyer, even during tough conversations.  

Lastly, be wary of any divorce attorney who makes grandiose guarantees or promises any particular outcome of your divorce case. As in any legal matter, nothing is certain, and countless variables come into play that could sway the outcome one way or another. The only relevant guarantee you should look for is that the divorce lawyer will dedicate themselves to effectively representing you and that they will do this with your and any childrens’ best interests in mind.

Choose A Divorce Attorney in Cleveland, Ohio

Once you have sifted through available options and considered your “must have” requirements – professionalism, expertise, experience, responsiveness, courtesy–it is time to decide on a Cleveland divorce lawyer who meets your needs. This person will likely share your core beliefs about divorce and how it should be handled, and you should feel comfortable working with them. As a family law expert, your chosen attorney will also no doubt understand the importance of your children and put all their effort into maintaining the vital familial relationships that help children to confidently grow and thrive. They will be willing to fight for your and your childrens’ rights to support and custody and will strive for the smoothest process possible.

At the Law Offices Of Cara L. Santosuosso, LLC we understand what is involved and what is at stake in each and every divorce case we handle. We take the situation seriously and understand the personal implications for our clients. We would be honored to help you, too. Whether you are just beginning your search or are already in the midst of filing for divorce, we are here to talk. Get in touch today to learn more about our services, philosophy, and to see if we are the right fit for you.