Karen Covy, a family lawyer in Chicago, answers:
The two most important things you need to know when you are hiring a divorce attorney are:
- the kind of a divorce you want
- the kind of divorce the attorney handles.
There are many ways to get a divorce today. You can try to divorce amicably by settling directly with your spouse. You can use mediation. You can use collaborative law. You can fight in court. Before you make any other decision, you need to know which of these options you want to use. Then, after you decide how you want to get a divorce, you need to decide which attorney will be best to help you achieve the result you desire.
If you want to divorce amicably, hiring a “shark” attorney who is best at fighting in court does not make sense. If your spouse is fighting you tooth and nail, hiding assets, and making the divorce difficult, then hiring a peaceful negotiator may not be in your best interest; in this case, you may need the shark attorney. The key is to match the result you want to achieve with the kind of attorney who can best achieve it for you.