Finding a divorce attorney isn’t an easy task. This professional will guide you through a very difficult legal matter and time in your life. Before you start your New Mexico divorce attorney search, here are some common search mistakes you should avoid.
Waiting Until It’s Very Serious
You probably didn’t just suddenly decide to get divorced one day. It often takes months or even years to reach this point.
If you feel you may need to get divorced, start looking for an attorney immediately. That way, you will have an estimate of the divorce costs in advance, and you’ll also be able to spend the time you need to find the right attorney. Waiting to find an attorney until after the divorce has already been filed will only add stress to your situation.
Relying Just on Recommendations
If you have any family members or friends who have divorced recently, you may look to them to get legal recommendations and advice. While this can give you a few prospective attorney names to look into, you can’t rely solely on suggestions from others. An attorney who was the right fit for your friend may not be the best fit for you. Take the time to search on your own so you find the attorney who can provide you with what you are looking for.
Going with Google
Googling “divorce attorney by me” is another way to get an idea of the options near you, but these types of basic searches will not give you much of an idea about an attorney’s skills, education, or reputation. Use dedicated attorney directories to compare local firms. Legal directory websites in your area, for example, will provide you with a list of attorneys that you can filter by features such as location and practice area.
Not Using Consultations or Going to One Unprepared
Many attorneys will offer consultations so you can get to know them before agreeing to use them. Keep in mind that the purpose of these consultations is not to make you do business with someone. It’s meant to give you the chance to get to know the attorney and find out how they analyze your case and issues without becoming financially obligated to them.
You need to have a list of questions with you at the consultation. Divorce is an emotional topic, and you may become flustered or emotional at this first meeting. When you have a list of questions to ask the attorney, you’ll be able to focus on your evaluation of their practices, skills and personality and not the emotional issues of your divorce.
Making a Snap Decision
After you meet with the first attorney, you may feel as if you need to hire them right away. However, it’s important to consider all your options and do some reflection after each consultation. It’s very easy to become swept up in what you hear at your first attorney meeting without considering all your other options before making a choice.
Not Making a Budget
In many divorce cases, both spouses have their own attorneys. This means they can’t rely on each other’s income to handle those legal costs. Before you hire your attorney, make a budget for yourself that does not include any money from your spouse. Even though the costs of a divorce are an expense of the marriage, this will allow you to set aside the money you will need for your attorney, and you will also know what you can afford to spend on one.
Your attorney will have a real impact on the outcome of your divorce case and your experiences during the case. Take the time you need to find an attorney with whom you feel confident and comfortable.