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Try on your divorce lawyer for size

As you begin to plan your divorce, you may start to feel some panic and anxiety. Although the urge to find a lawyer immediately, regardless of qualifications or cost, might be tempting, choosing your divorce attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make. Do not be hasty in making this decision, because the attitude and approach of your attorney can dramatically alter your divorce experience. Whether you want a bulldog in the courtroom or a peacemaker in mediation, make sure to take time to choose your attorney before plunging into legal action.

You are probably under a great deal of pressure as the divorce process begins to heat up. Experts say it is important to remember that you are not, in most cases, in an emergency situation. If you take a few deep breaths, do your research and calmly evaluate your options, you are far more likely to find the right attorney for you. Furthermore, remember that your well-meaning friends and family members may not understand the type of attorney you need. Everyone has an opinion about who to hire during your breakup; although some of this input could be useful, you ultimately must make the decision on your own.

Before you begin, you should also ask yourself what kind of divorce you want to pursue. If your spouse is an irrational bully, you may have no other choice but to pursue a courtroom divorce, complete with time-and-money-intensive litigation. If, on the other hand, you and your spouse could conceivably get along well enough to mediate your divorce, you could save a significant amount of resources by creating a collaborative agreement. Remember that the most expensive option is not always the best for you.

In the end, you will have to do your research in order to identify the divorce attorney who best suits your style. Contact local attorneys as soon as possible to find out about their services and legal philosophies. These legal professionals can help protect your rights and educate you about your responsibilities throughout the trials of your divorce.

Source:, "Shopping for a divorce lawyer: One size doesn't fit all" Kate Scharff, May. 17, 2013

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