“I’m pretty well off financially, so legal costs are of no concern to me. Will I get better service with a more expensive divorce attorney?”
When choosing a lawyer, it is important to consider not just the lawyer — his or her knowledge, attitude, experience, and philosophy — but yourself. You need to figure out what you have, what you want, and how much of a fight you anticipate (and are willing to engage in) to get what you want. Of course, there’s also the issue of how much you want to spend.
Some people believe that the more a lawyer charges, the better the lawyer is. Wrong! It’s true that more experienced attorneys charge more for their time. However, lawyers are like wine — you can pay a lot of money for a fancy bottle that tastes like vinegar, or you can find a good deal that fits your budget and your palate alike. Regardless of how much an attorney charges, you still need to make sure that the attorney has the skill and shares the approach to your case that you want. That being said, in some cases, you need an expensive attorney. If you have a multimillion-dollar estate, complicated financial dealings, and enormous custody issues, you need to find a lawyer who is capable of handling those kinds of issues. Lawyers like that aren’t cheap. Of course, most people don’t need that level of lawyering, but they do need someone who’s competent and professional. Unfortunately, even average lawyers cost money. The bottom line, though, is that they are worth it. The money you spend on a good attorney is nothing compared to the money you will spend if you try to get through your divorce without one.
Karen A. Covy, J.D. is a divorce attorney and family law mediator in Chicago Illinois . She is the author of When Happily Ever After Ends, How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally.
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