Facing a divorce is never an easy or enjoyable experience, even if you know for sure that your marriage needs to end and your relationship with your spouse has deteriorated to the point of being destructive. The divorce process may technically begin when you and your spouse decide to end your marriage, but the formal legal process of ending a marriage begins when one spouse files a divorce petition with the St. Louis, MO family court.
While it is technically possible to handle a divorce without an attorney, doing so is not a wise decision. You may believe that you can reach a fair and reasonable divorce agreement on your own, but the reality is that an experienced St. Louis, MO divorce attorney will be invaluable for ensuring you secure the best divorce agreement possible.
The average person with no formal legal training will likely struggle in navigating the state’s family court system unassisted, and they may overlook crucial details that affect the outcome of their divorce that a seasoned divorce lawyer would not have missed. If you are planning to divorce soon and need legal counsel, call our firm. It’s vital to know how to find the St. Louis, MO divorce lawyer who is right for you.
Should I Hire a Male or Female Divorce Attorney?
Many people wonder whether hiring a male or female divorce attorney makes any significant difference in any given divorce case. Both male and female divorce attorneys can provide high-quality legal counsel and navigate their clients to successful outcomes regardless of their sex. Ultimately, choosing between a male and female attorney boils down to personal preference. Divorce typically requires sensitive personal topics with your attorney. Men tend to be more open in discussing such things with other men, and women tend to operate along similar lines. Do not assume that your attorney’s sex has anything to do with their legal acumen and ability to represent your interests, and choose the St. Louis, MO divorce attorney who makes you feel the most confident about your situation.
What to Look for in a Divorce Lawyer
When you decide to divorce and need to hire a divorce attorney to represent your case, take your time in choosing your attorney before committing to any lawyer’s legal services. A few of the key factors you must consider when deciding which St. Louis, MO divorce lawyer to hire include:
- Experience. While many new attorneys are talented and dedicated to their clients, it is always best to choose the more experienced attorney. Look for a divorce lawyer who has a solid professional record in the St. Louis court system.
- Availability. It’s common for divorce attorneys to handle multiple cases at once as there are often long gaps of time between case proceedings for any given divorce case. However, it is vital to choose an attorney who maintains a balanced caseload so you can be sure they can devote adequate time and attention to your case.
- Accessibility. You will need to be able to get in touch with your attorney, so before you commit to an attorney’s services, make sure you know how you can expect to contact them throughout your case.
- Testimonials. Most attorneys will publish reviews and testimonials from past clients, and reading these reviews can give you a better idea of what it will be like to work with a given attorney. It’s also a good idea to check reviews on third-party sites and ask friends, family, and coworkers for any personal recommendations they may have.
These factors can help you narrow down your options to a handful of the best St. Louis, MO divorce lawyers. Once you have your list of potential attorneys, consider taking advantage of consultation offers to get to know these attorneys firsthand and ask them a few questions about your divorce case.
Essential Questions to Ask a Potential Attorney
A consultation is the perfect opportunity to interview a prospective attorney, helping you gain a better understanding of how they typically approach divorce cases and how they can help you in yours. Consider a few examples of important questions you should ask during your consultation:
- “What type of approach will you take in my divorce case?” Their answer will inform you about their legal philosophy, including whether they intend to help you mediate your divorce case or if they believe you are headed for intense litigation.
- “How much do you charge?” Most attorneys will bill their services by the hour, and the time spent working on your case can add up very quickly. Before committing to an attorney’s services, make sure you know how much those services are going to cost you.
- “Do you notice any alarming or promising factors in my case?” Every divorce case is unique. A good attorney should be able to quickly highlight the factors that are most likely to present themselves as opportunities or challenges in your case.
- “How long do you think my case will take to reach a conclusion?” Some divorce cases can drag on for months or even years, depending on their complexity and the willingness of the divorcing spouses to negotiate. Ask the attorney how much time they expect your case to require before you can obtain your divorce decree. This should also help you estimate the overall cost of legal fees for your divorce.
These are only general questions that everyone should ask a potential attorney. You should also take time to develop a few more questions that are more specific to your unique situation. Your consultation is the best chance you have to evaluate a prospective attorney before deciding who you want representing your interests in your divorce.
Time is a critical factor in any legal case, including a divorce. Even if your divorce case seems straightforward at first, you could encounter unexpected variables that significantly increase the time required for you to reach a conclusion to your divorce. Do not rush to hire the first St. Louis divorce attorney you meet, but do not take too long in securing legal counsel for your divorce. Consult an experienced St. Louis, MO divorce lawyer as soon as possible to start discussing your legal options.