How to find the best divorce attorney in Barrington to meet your needs.
Unfortunately, approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce. After going through months or years of bickering and being unhappy, some couples finally throw in the towel and give up.
Going through a divorce is usually a very stressful and emotional time. There are a thousand things to consider during a divorce, such as how to split the assets, finances, homes, cars, bank accounts, etc. Not to mention trying to work out the best way to make the process as comfortable as possible for your children.
Divorce can be a grueling legal process that can have residual affects years down the road. While there are many decisions to be made, there’s no need to go it alone. Divorce and Family Law attorneys are available to help you understand your rights and guide you through the maze of decisions in a cost-effective manner with a minimal amount of angst so everyone involved can get on with their lives.
But how do you know which Barrington divorce attorney is best qualified to meet your needs? It is not as easy as it sounds. You need to find the best there is, which will take some research and dedication on your part.
Selecting a divorce attorney is a vital decision to make as this is the person who will be ultimately responsible for maintaining your child custody rights, maintaining the interest of your property and other assets, and maintaining your overall financial well-being.
One of the first things you will want to consider when looking for a Family Law Attorney is to determine just how much experience the attorney or firm has in the area of Family Law.
Family Law is a multi-faceted area of law that deals with interpersonal relationships, family issues and the law. Family law encompasses such areas as adoption, child custody and visitation, children’s rights, child support, spousal support, separation agreements, divorce, property division, cohabitation agreements, marital (pre-nuptial and postnuptial) agreements, marriage and other legal issues pertinent to the family.
Here are a few things you should do before choosing a divorce attorney:
Identify Prospects and Create a List
Although the attorney is the person with the expertise regarding the divorce, you are the person who will be most affected by the decision to hire (or not to hire) this attorney. Make a good decision or it can cost you time, money and peace of mind.
There are many local lawyers that will “take on” a divorce case. This does not mean that they specialize in divorce or other types of family law issues. Attorneys who exclusively practice divorce and family law have managed more cases and presumably have more knowledge and expertise than lawyers who handle divorce as an “add-on” service to their general law practice.
Get a Referral
Ask friends, relatives and coworkers if they know someone that has worked with a really good divorce attorney.
The best referrals come from those you already know and trust. Due to the high level of divorce today, you are bound to know someone that has gone through one.
Ask them what they liked most about the attorney as well as if there is anything that they disliked about him or her.
While asking people about their experiences with divorce attorneys, be sure to find out a little about their particular situation to ensure their attorney is a good fit for you.
There are several ways to create a list of the top divorce attorneys in the Chicago area.
- Yellow Pages – You could open the Barrington IL phone book to ‘divorce lawyers’ and throw a dart to see which ad it hits – this would not be considered a good option.
- Personal Referral – If you feel comfortable asking friends to recommend a divorce lawyer that may be an acceptable place to start. Being referred to a divorce lawyer by someone who is a friend of the lawyer is not always the best choice; the referral could be based mainly on personal friendship and less on qualifications, experience and reputation.
- Client Referral – If you are referred to a divorce lawyer by one of that firm’s former clients, make sure that you ask the person referring you to describe what their case involved and what the outcome was. If the person providing you the referral had a case that is dissimilar to yours, a referral to that person’s lawyer may not really provide substantial information about that lawyer’s skill and experience at handling your specific case.
- Attorney Referral – When searching for the best divorce lawyer in Barrington, a great option would be to consult with a local attorney that you trust and is familiar with other lawyers that specialize in the practice of “Family Law” and ask them for a recommendation.
- Online Lawyer Directories – If you are not comfortable asking a friend or talking to a former client for a referral, another option is to check one of the major online law firm directories, like SuperLawyers.com. Super Lawyers aggregates peer-ranked lists of attorneys, organized by geography and practice area. Anna Bush has been awarded the designation of Super Lawyer in Illinois.
Meet Face-to-Face for a Consultation
Don’t go for the first divorce attorney you come across in the Yellow Pages with the big beautiful ad. Instead, once you narrow down your choices to two or three prospects, setup consultations with them.
Some attorneys offer free consultations, but there are those who may charge a consultation fee that they may be willing to credit if you hire their firm.
During your consultation, you should be prepared to ask questions that will help clear up anything you may be unsure about. Instead of going in there and trying to remember everything off the top of your head, write your questions down.
- Does your firm exclusively practice Family Law?
- How long have you practiced this type of law?
- How many cases of this type have you handled? How many in the last 12 months?
- What is your fee structure? You want to be sure that you can afford their services before hiring them.
- Ask the attorney how many cases like yours he or she has experienced and what kinds of results were obtained.
- Ask about their success rate and past cases.
- If you have children, ask specifics about child custody laws.
- How quickly do you return phone calls?
- What should I do if I encounter a problem after office hours?
After meeting with them, you should have a better idea as to whether or not they are a good fit for you.
Did they answer your questions without seeming agitated?
Did you feel comfortable with them?
Did they show compassion for your situation?
Keep it Professional
When meeting with prospective attorneys, it’s important to remember to keep things professional. The most important thing to understand is that you are not looking for a friend; you are looking for a divorce attorney whom you trust and will protect your rights and provide you with the necessary legal counsel during the divorce proceedings.
The qualities you would find in a friend are not necessarily the qualities you would want in a lawyer – so keep them separate.
Divorce can be complex a legal process. With guidance from an experienced Barrington IL divorce lawyer, you can ensure court actions are filed accurately and that the process is completed as efficiently and cost-effect