Today we are talking to divorce attorney Michael Craven to learn what one should know when hiring a divorce attorney.
Michael, what is the most important thing one should look for when hiring a divorce attorney?
I think the client and attorney must have chemistry. I represent people, not businesses. The relationship is highly personal and it often lasts for years. I’m both attorney and counselor. I and the client must feel comfortable with each other.
We’ve all heard of those really bitter divorce battles between husbands and wives, like the one portrayed in the movie “The War of the Roses”. Should clients look for an attorney who takes no prisoners?
That type of lawyer should be avoided. Although the win at all cost approach is sometimes appealing at the beginning of a case when someone wants revenge, in the end it never pays.
Don’t count on the court to punish your spouse who wronged you. You will be disappointed. Even if your husband or wife cheats on you, the courts don’t care. These types of attorneys may satisfy a primal urge for revenge. But they will not effectively and efficiently represent a client’s best interests. More importantly, such maneuvering can cause an irreversible break in family ties. For example, if you have children, you need to recognize that you and your spouse will always be parents. Your kids will benefit if you and your ex get along. This is true even after the children are grown. You don’t want your adult children feeling torn over which parent to invite to a grandchild’s birthday party.
How does one keep the costs of their divorce down?
Prioritize! As a former CPA, I know much of the work can and should be viewed in a business like fashion. Weigh the costs against the benefits. There are many tasks that provide some value, but it just doesn’t pay to do all of them. Clients who prioritize can budget their money to achieve their goals.
Why do some divorce cases costs so much?
One of the biggest factors in determining the cost of a case is the level of conflict we encounter. Reasonable people will get their case over at a reasonable cost. In my firm, we have people to handle different aspects of the case at appropriate rates for the task at hand. For example, routine legal work can be done by an associate attorney, whose hourly rate will be significantly lower than a partner’s. Other parts of a case can be handled by a paralegal, at a rate often half that of an associate’s. Using the appropriate people for various tasks allows us to handle a case efficiently and cost effectively.
Why do you believe a person considering divorce should hire you and BS LLP?
There are many reasons. I’m proud to be a partner in Beermann Swerdlove. It is one of the most prestigious divorce firms around. I am well known and respected as a strong but reasonable advocate for my clients; just ask other attorneys and judges. I’ve been an attorney since 1984. I have a lot of experience as does BS which has thrived for more than 50 years. Divorce covers so many different specialties. A qualified divorce attorney must understand all of them. As a former CPA and tax attorney, I have an edge over other divorce attorneys. And, if there is something I don’t know, one of my partners in the other departments will. At BS LLP, we have it all.
If one wants to learn more about my qualifications, lectures, articles and my firm, they can visit the Beermann Swerdlove website.
Is there anything else making your firm special?
Actually, yes. We really have talented, strong and compassionate attorneys and staff who enjoy what they do. Studies indicate that the majority of lawyers are unsatisfied professionally. But here, we all love being attorneys and we love what we do. For several of the lawyers here, like me, it may be in our genes, as we are second generation attorneys.
In closing, what are the main things a client should look for when hiring a divorce lawyer?
Follow the rule of 4 Cs: Hire an attorney who has/is-
C = Chemistry
C = Competent
C = Compassionate
C = Craven, Michael 312-621-9700
Chicago lawyer Michael C. Craven represents clients in all areas of family law including divorce, property division, custody, child support, paternity, domestic violence, and the preparation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. He draws on his previous experience as a tax attorney to negotiate and litigate complex financial issues in matrimonial cases.