If you want cost-effective representation during a divorce, there are certain attorneys and certain practices you want to avoid.

Divorce Mills. No matter how competent the representation may be, avoid the “divorce mill”: an attorney or group of attorneys who rely on numerous paralegals or other attorneys to prepare a case for hearings or trial.

Excessive Nonrefundable Fees. Attorneys who appear to overreach on their fee arrangements should also be avoided. Today family lawyers who care about their client’s well-being do not charge large, nonrefundable fees. They charge a retainer fee, paid at the outset and credited against charges for future work.

Aggressiveness. Any reasonably alert client will be suspicious of the attorney who appears overly aggressive (“We’ll haul him into court and get you a fair shake”), as well as an attorney who guarantees a given result. It’s not improper, however, for an attorney to indicate you may be misinformed or uninformed as to the law. The attorney may be correct in advising you that you may receive more in property or support than that to which you believed you were entitled.

Out-of-County Location. Another rule you should not violate: never hire an attorney from a county other than that in which the case is to be filed, unless the county court is near the attorney’s office and you are convinced he or she practices regularly before the judges of the court that will hear your case.

Gender Bias. You should also not limit your search to male attorneys as some litigants do. If you are about to limit your search to male attorneys because you believe female attorneys lack the persuasive power and strength to negotiate a reasonable settlement or to persuade a judge at a settlement conference or trial, you are making a major mistake.

Categories: Divorce Guides and Legal Guides.