Getting a divorce will likely be one of the most stressful, emotionally fraught experiences of your life. As you navigate the process, you will be forced to make tough decisions that will have a lasting impact on your finances, your parenting, and your relationship with your ex-spouse. The process may last several months, in some cases more than a year, and while some divorces are handled fairly amicably, others result in conflict and tension.
The best way to come out on the other side with your sanity intact is to enlist the expertise of a divorce lawyer. A skilled attorney will make it much easier for you and your family to weather the divorce process. In fact, the right divorce attorney will be able to handle most of the day-to-day aspects of your divorce, leaving you more time for self-care.
As such, one of the most important decisions you will make in this process is which divorce attorney you hire. As you interview different candidates, there are a few qualities that you should prize above all others.
The Key Qualities of a Divorce Lawyer
1) Your divorce lawyer should have the ability to communicate.
During divorce proceedings, clear communication is key. Your divorce attorney must keep you apprised of the latest developments in your case, conveying enough detail for you to weigh in and make informed decisions about how you wish to proceed.
Communication cuts both ways. Your divorce lawyer must also be a good listener, able to hear and fully comprehend your wishes, goals, and priorities.
Finally, a good divorce lawyer needs to be an effective negotiator, able to facilitate fruitful discussions with your ex (and your ex’s attorney), and passionately make a case for you in court.
2) Your divorce lawyer should be available.
When going through a divorce, it is only natural to want an attorney who is attentive to your needs, ready to answer questions or provide insight as needed. In short, you want to feel like you have your attorney’s undivided attention, or something close to it.
Realistically, you are probably not going to be your divorce lawyer’s only client. With that said, you should certainly seek an attorney with a balanced and easily managed caseload. It is ideal to find an attorney who can generally answer the phone when you call, or at least respond to texts and voicemails in a timely manner.
3) Your divorce lawyer should have a command of local divorce laws.
If you are looking for an attorney in the Elizabethtown area, then you will want to ensure the attorney knows the details of Kentucky divorce proceedings.
In addition to knowing local laws, it may also be important to ask about legal specialties. For example, some clients may need to verify that their attorney has plenty of experience handling high-conflict divorces or LGBTQ divorces.
Also, note that a good divorce attorney will know the local courtrooms and judges pretty well. Knowledge of how local family courts tend to operate can be highly consequential for your case.
4) Your divorce lawyer must exhibit sound judgment.
For your case to succeed, you will need more than just knowledge of local divorce laws. You will also need an attorney who can evaluate the specifics of your case and make important judgment calls. For example, should you seek a collaborative divorce? Should you try to settle out of court? And what does your attorney think about joint custody versus sole custody?
As you look for the right divorce attorney, make sure you find someone whose judgment you trust.
5) Your divorce lawyer needs to be emotionally stalwart.
You will look to your divorce attorney for legal guidance as well as emotional strength and fortitude.
Remember that the divorce process can be grueling, and you are sure to experience a wide range of emotions as the process unfolds. However, you need an attorney who can be both empathetic and strong and who you can lean on for support during this process.
6) Your divorce lawyer needs to be cool under pressure.
Sometimes, things will not go quite according to plan. You may have a judge who does not respond favorably, or an opposing counsel who throws a wrench in your strategy.
This may be frustrating for you, and it is bound to be challenging for your divorce attorney, as well. With that said, it is crucial that your lawyer remains cool and composed, regardless of what happens.
Simply put, your divorce lawyer always needs to be the one controlling your case, not ceding control to your spouse’s attorney.
7) Your divorce lawyer should be someone you feel comfortable talking to.
Over the course of multiple months, you will spend a lot of time talking with your divorce lawyer. You will convey to them information regarding some of the most intimate topics, including your hopes and dreams as a parent, your financial status, even details of your married life.
It is crucially important that you hire for “fit,” finding a divorce lawyer whose personality and style mesh with your own. Make sure the divorce attorney you hire is someone you feel comfortable with.
Find a Qualified Divorce Lawyer in Elizabethtown, KY
Finding the right divorce lawyer will ultimately make the entire process run more smoothly; it can preserve your emotional wellbeing while also making it more likely that you get a satisfying outcome.
If you live in Kentucky and need a qualified divorce attorney, we invite you to contact our firm. Clagett & Barnett represents clients in Elizabethtown and the surrounding area, and we would love to help you determine whether we are the right fit for your case. To speak with one of our family lawyers, contact Clagett & Barnett at your next opportunity.