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Picking a Divorce Attorney


Picking a Divorce Attorney


Legal Experts Share Tips on How to Pick a Family Law Attorney for your Divorce


By CASEY CLARK-NEY

    Finding a good lawyer is obviously vital in producing a favorable outcome to your divorce.

The problem is how do you find an attorney that is right for you – especially if you have never had a need for one in the past? According to New Jersey-based family law attorney Mark S. Guralnick, family law attorneys are fired more often than any other type of lawyer.


“Among lawyers it’s almost a private joke that this client or that client is up to his third lawyer,” Guralnick said. This revolving door syndrome, Guralnick said, has a lot to do with breakdowns in communication between attorney and client. However, by choosing a divorce lawyer wisely and asking the important questions upfront, Guralnick said finding a good lawyer doesn’t have to be that difficult. 


WHERE TO START

The best way to start looking for a lawyer is through referrals. “It’s almost like when you’re asking for some kind of expert to help you like a doctor or an accountant,” attorney Fred Zundel of Idaho Legal Aid Services, said. “Talk with people who have maybe gone through a divorce, perhaps talk with some clerks in the court house, talk with other attorneys you know.”

Secondly, Guralnick recommends seeking referral advice from a local bar association. “They will give you the name of a matrimonial lawyer for free or for a small charge,” he said. “One assurance you have with referral service is the lawyer is insured. You’re not getting that someone who is dabbling in law.”

Guralnick said some, but not all, referral services require their lawyers to prove on an annual basis that they qualify to be referred. Certain divorces require more than just average legal services. For example, in the event of a high assets case, hiring a lawyer familiar with similar cases would be a good idea, Guralnick said. Organizations such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and The American Association of Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) provide referrals for more intense legal cases. “They also have many, many, fine lawyers,” Guralnick said.

A relatively new idea in the legal industry, Guralnick said, is for attorney’s to become certified as a specialist in a particular area. For example, Guralnick, is licensed to practice law in several states and different countries, is board certified to practice family law in the state of New Jersey.

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