When you make the difficult decision to get a divorce, you are making the decision to upend your life as you know it. You run the risk of losing your home, time with your children and, yes, it will cost you money in legal fees. When you search for a divorce lawyer, it is important that you find a qualified legal professional with whom you can work. However, you would do well to recognize that your primary attorney will not be working alone. The best divorce attorneys are also surrounded by a quality legal team, who can help you restructure your life in a suitable manner.
The lawyers: Your divorce attorney will likely be working with other lawyers on your case. It is not uncommon for multiple lawyers to be present during your case evaluation. Ask who will be handling your case primarily, and what experience he/she has. It is very likely the attorneys working on the case will be his/her juniors. They may be quite capable, but it important to know who is involved and to what extent so you may build a trusting relationship. This person has significant influence over your future happiness.
The paralegals: In lieu of or in addition to other attorneys, your divorce lawyer may have a dedicated paralegal or team of paralegals managing your case. Paralegals may possess different levels of training and experience. Some may have more formal training from schools such as the Paralegal institute of Washington or other Washington, DC paralegal certification courses. Others may be students or possess a general degree and simply hold experience in the field. Paralegals are mostly responsible for organizing paperwork, liaising with clients and drafting documents. It may be hard to assess, but before signing a retainer agreement, try to determine how available the attorney is to you and how much work will be done through the paralegal.
Having good communication with a trustworthy legal team is an essential component in any legal proceeding. Finding attorneys with high success rates, excellent recommendations, and paralegals educated at the best paralegal certification programs in Washington DC and around the country– may seem like a daunting task. However, it will be well worth it in the end if it saves you property and alimony payments to your spouse.