Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why Finding the Right Divorce Attorney Is a Crucial Step

Many people approach a divorce with the mindset that there are only a few ways in which attorneys are noticeably different from one another, and that the only way that affects your case is whether or not you "win" or "lose".

In truth, there aren't typically winners and losers in divorce, and it's important to not view the proceedings in that light. Additionally, attorneys are different in many other ways as well, including very important ones. Here are a few of the key ways why finding the right divorce attorney is a crucial step.

Match Your Style and Preference

Some attorneys may have the reputation of "courtroom bulldogs", going hard and aggressive. Other attorneys may focus on out-of-courtroom mediation, working to find relatively amicable and smooth outcomes. Which kind of attorney you want depends not only on who you're going up against and how much anger you have towards him or her, but also your preferred style and approach.

Do you want to settle things with as little conflict and added stress as possible? Do you want to skip right past mediation and head into a courtroom showdown, and if so, why?

Evaluating for yourself how you want the case to play out will give you a head start in selecting an attorney who is well-equipped not just for any divorce, but for you, and your case.

Comfort Level

Your divorce attorney is going to be learning a great deal about you, your spouse and your family, and all of the circumstances involved. They're going to be privy to a range of information and details, and you want to feel absolutely comfortable with him or her.

You should not only completely trust your attorney with all of that information, and with your case, but also feel open to sharing everything with them and all of the important details or facts -- if you believe them to be unsightly or embarrassing. You can't withhold anything from your attorney if you want a positive outcome with your case, and you absolutely must be comfortable with them.

Experience and Track Record

There may not be winners and losers, but experience and track record do tend to lead to superior, preferable outcomes. It's important to consider that there's courtroom experience, mediation experience, and more, which also plays into selecting the attorney with the correct style for you, as mentioned above.


There's a huge spectrum for how much different attorneys and firms may charge, and for how much a divorce could cost you. You never want to go bargain-basement shopping, however, that doesn't mean you need to spend excessively, either.

It's also important to consider a sometimes dirty trick of divorces - one side dragging out the proceedings to run up the bills for the other, and thereby putting pressure on them to settle and move on. So if you hire the most experience attorney in town, because you think he or she must be the best, but you can only afford to pay their fees for one month before you have no more funds, then you're going to be out of luck. Of course, many firms offer payment plans or contigent fees, but that will have to be worked out with them directly.

Remember, the attorney you hire is essential not only for the outcome of your case, but also the entire experience throughout. Keep the above tips in mind and you should be able to select the attorney and firm who's right for you.

Brandon A. Bernstein is an experienced divorce lawyer in Maryland. He helps clients with all family law issues, including divorce, prenuptial and separation agreements, child support and custody, and more. Mr. Bernstein was named to the 2014 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in Maryland. His practice, the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein, is based in Bethesda, and can be visited at This article does not represent legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. Always consult with an attorney before making any legal or financial decisions.
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