Deciding to get a divorce in Houston, TX is a difficult process, but once you’ve made that decision, you want to get the best divorce attorney you can. If you don’t know how to start looking for a divorce attorney who will fight for your interests, try searching for attorneys with these 14 qualities.
Finding the Best Divorce Attorney in Houston, TX: 14 Qualities to Look For
Experience With Similar Cases
Finding an attorney who has handled cases similar to yours is critical for ensuring a positive outcome. There are many divorce attorneys available, but if your case is especially complex, you want an attorney who has experience with difficult cases. Many attorneys who have not been practicing for long will not have seen all kinds of cases. For this reason, it’s best to go with an attorney who has been practicing for a decade or longer.
You and your divorce lawyer are going to be spending a lot of time together for the duration of your case, and perhaps for years afterward. You need an attorney who is able to communicate with you and the opposing attorneys in a clear and concise manner. Cases that lack communication tend to last longer and become more frustrating for all parties involved. Make sure your attorney understands your wants and needs and can communicate them appropriately to the other side.
It’s no surprise that divorces can become contentious. There are many emotions involved, along with sensitive issues like custody and money. You want an attorney who can stay calm when things get heated and can help diffuse tense situations rather than fan the flames and make things worse. This doesn’t mean your attorney is weak. It just means they are able to maintain a professional demeanor when tempers flare, which can impress a judge.
Of course, you want an attorney who can prepare a legal strategy that allows you to receive everything you’re entitled to in the divorce. Every case requires significant preparation and research, so you need a lawyer who is willing to dig deep to analyze the material to determine the best path forward for your specific case. Divorce is impacted by numerous factors, so having an attorney who can identify them quickly and accurately, and present a cohesive case is critical.
Judgment and Reasoning Skills
Making decisions quickly is a major part of being any type of lawyer, but in divorce situations, you know how those decisions are going to impact both you and someone you care about, or at least once cared about. For that reason, you want an attorney who has exhibited the ability to make good judgments that can be backed by solid reasoning. Indecisiveness is a killer in divorce cases, so make sure your attorney is confident in their decisions.
In highly contentious divorce cases, the last thing you want is an attorney who backs down at the slightest hint of trouble. Instead, you want an attorney who’s capable of going toe-to-toe with the other party’s attorney to ensure you get the best deal possible. An attorney who always capitulates to the other attorney just to keep the peace isn’t someone who will fight for your rights no matter what. Competitiveness is a desirable quality in challenging divorce cases.
This quality goes together with competitiveness in that you want an attorney who is on your side for the duration of your case. Not all divorce cases are open and shut, so you need someone who is going to put in the energy and long hours that may be required to come to a fair resolution in your case. An attorney who looks to settle immediately without counter-offering may not be as dedicated to your case as you are.
Even if your attorney has seen dozens of cases that are similar to yours, they’ve never seen one that’s exactly the same. They’ll need to devise creative ways to solve problems and roadblocks that pop up unexpectedly. Plus, it may take some creative maneuvering to find a solution that works for both parties, which always looks better to a judge if a creative proposal comes from your side instead of the opposition, as it shows a willingness to compromise.
What good is hiring a divorce attorney if you can’t meet with them or they aren’t able to show up in court when you need them? The answer is: not much. You need an attorney who’s not so overwhelmed with other cases that they can’t be available to you within a reasonable amount of time. You should be able to make an appointment to see your attorney without waiting for weeks, and your questions should be answered quickly as well.
Attorneys who have been practicing for a long time have built up a network of support and resources that they can draw from when necessary. These resources will help them prepare for your case and provide you with whatever support you need to get through the arduous process. In case of an emergency, your attorney should have a backup plan to handle your needs while they’re unavailable. New attorneys may not yet have such an extensive network built up.
An attorney-client relationship must be built on honesty from both sides. You need to be honest with your attorney regarding all aspects of your divorce for them to be able to adequately represent you. However, you have the right to expect your attorney to be honest with you as well. If something’s not going your way, your attorney should let you know that so you don’t get your hopes up. They should also not promise you things they can’t guarantee.
If your attorney has handled many divorce cases, they know what an emotional toll it takes on their clients. A little understanding goes a long way, so an attorney who treats you with compassion as you go through one of the most difficult times of your life is necessary. They will give you the time you need to make critical decisions but will offer you support and guidance to help you make the best decisions for your interests.
This is a critical quality because sometimes your best judgment can be clouded by your emotions during divorce proceedings. You want your attorney to be objective in determining whether what you’re seeking is reasonable or if you’re just being difficult because of your emotions. An attorney should be able to talk you back to reality and explain the best way to get the best outcome, which may not be everything you want.
While cost may not be the most important reason for choosing a lawyer, it’s still an aspect of your representation you need to consider. While it’s natural to associate cost with quality, that’s not always the case. There are excellent divorce attorneys available for all income brackets, so don’t automatically pick the most expensive one. Find an attorney whose fees are reasonable and within your budget. As long as they have the other qualities on this list, you’ll be fine.
Hiring your divorce attorney to handle your case is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. By comparing your options against this list of qualities, you’ll be able to choose the best one for your situation. Contact Skillern Firm in Houston, TX to find a lawyer with all these qualities and more.