Law Offices of Andrew K. Keutmann

One State Street, Suite 1500 Boston, Massachusetts 02109 (617) 933-3864
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How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is difficult no matter what. But choosing a good divorce lawyer can make the process much easier. What makes a good divorce attorney for you depends on your situation, your needs, and your personality.  Do you want a fighter who will never back down and litigate to the end or do you want someone more inclined to settle?  Maybe neither of those sound good and you want a skilled negotiator who will know when to fight and when you’ve won.

Divorce can be expensive.  Don’t get sucked into the allure of a beautiful waiting room in expensive office spaces.  Clients just like you have forked over much more cash than they needed to, to pay for that expensive space.  Look for an attorney who you connect with.  It is important that your goals are aligned and the attorney takes the time to understand your position.  

Everyone wants to know about billing rates and retainer requirements upfront, which is understandable.  But also know, just because an attorney asks for a small retainer or quotes you a low rate doesn’t mean they won’t use up that retainer very quickly by billing many hours.  Then you're stuck in a terrible position, having to pay more, or worse, start over from scratch with a new attorney.  Ask at your initial consultation for an idea of how many hours tasks usually take.  Attorneys may be able to give you an estimate of the total cost of the case.  Also, ask about flat fee arrangements.  Flat fees are a great way to avoid the unpredictability of legal costs.  You can plan for, and sleep well at night knowing that your legal costs won’t become unaffordable in the future.  Also, ask if a prospective attorney will charge for their initial consultations, and if so how much.  If you plan to interview a few attorneys before deciding, a high consultation fee may rule out a couple of options.  

Lastly, when you meet with your attorney for the first time, bring a pen, paper and list of question you want to ask your attorney.  In addition to the standard questions about billable rate, retainers, and flat fees, make sure you ask some questions about how the attorney would handle your case.  Ask about next steps that they would take.  Ask about how the attorney usually communicates with his clients. Does he email relevant documents or does he prefer to fax?  A computer savvy lawyer will save you money by completing tasks more efficiently and better keep you in the loop with frequent communication.

Ultimately, you need to trust your attorney.  Are they someone who will do what the say and achieve the right your result for you without charging ridiculous rates?  

updated: 5 years ago