Once you have decided it is time to end your marriage, it’s time to start thinking about the next step for you and your family. With as much as 50% of marriages ending in divorce, the idea is hardly an unusual one.
With a simple search and browse of the internet, you can find a plethora of information and endless ads showcasing divorce lawyers near you – so much information that it can easily become overwhelming. So, with so much conflicting information floating around online, how do you separate the good from the bad?
For many, finding the right divorce lawyer online can be challenging. These tips can help you separate the wheat from the chaff during your search for the perfect divorce lawyer.
4 Tips to Help You Find a Divorce Lawyer Online
1. Decide Whether You Actually Need a Divorce Lawyer Instead of Handling It Yourself
The internet has been phenomenal for improving access to information and resources – including the option to end your marriage online without lawyers. If you and your spouse have mostly agreed to the terms of divorce (such as property split or custody) then you may not need to seek the services of a divorce attorney at all. This helps you avoid the expenses of retaining an attorney and removes the need to appear in court for your divorce to be granted.
The rules and costs will vary according to state regulations, however. For instance, online divorces are allowed in Texas, but in Georgia online divorces are not accepted. It is also dependent on the terms of the dissolution being uncontested. Also, you may want to have an attorney review your legal agreement, particularly if there is asset separation involved. Once signed, the divorce decree is difficult to change down the road.
2. Be Sure to Research the Firm, Partners, and any Associated Organizations
The last thing you want to happen is for you to be midway through your divorce and discover you need a new divorce attorney due to their lack of expertise or lack of response to your concerns. When choosing a divorce attorney, you want someone easy to work with, who knows the process and can maintain their professionalism in the courtroom.
Therefore, take your time before hiring an attorney, and list at least three candidates based on their track record and professional backgrounds.
Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your shortlisted attorneys for a quick chat and any initial questions about the process, such as billing or filing timelines. This gives you the chance to experience your rapport with your divorce attorney.
Finally, do not underestimate user reviews and feedback. Whether they are on the company website or divorce forums, the experience and ratings of others that have gone through the process will give you an unparalleled insight before you write that retainer check.
3. Take a Look at Additional Content, Such as a Legal Blog
When browsing their website, explore other resources they may provide, such as a legal blog. Blogs are a great source of information and are often used to help attorneys to improve search engine rankings and attract new traffic. For you, SEO helps you find a law firm that is credible, and offers targeted services based on their blog or website keywords, such as mediation or online consultations. Blogs have been ranked as the fifth most trusted source of information online.
The kind of content being published on their blog will help you pinpoint firms are that knowledgeable about local regulations, current developments and family law. If you find yourself reassured by the content they offer on their blogs, the chances are higher that you will feel the same throughout the process.
4. Check for Free and No-Commitment Consultation Offers on the Lawyer’s Website
It is not uncommon for divorce lawyers to offer a free initial consultation. For them, it is a marketing and case assessment technique. For you, it is a great opening to find out more about potential attorneys. In this session, lawyers aim to outline your options without getting into too much detail. Quite often, it entails you outlining your case for a divorce to a lawyer and getting advice on how they would approach the case in terms of financial settlements or custody.
Use this opportunity to ask them about their experience dealing with similar cases in the past or their network of support resources such as mediators, parenting coaches, or even therapists.
Divorce can be a difficult process, whether it is online or in court. Finding the best divorce attorney can make the process a whole lot easier. If you do opt to find one online, try these suggestions to weed through the stacks of divorce lawyers. Like purchasing the right pair of shoes, it is all about finding the right fit.
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.