Many people wonder what type of divorce lawyer do I need.
Should I hire a shark or a bull dog type? Or should I hire someone good at negotiation and settlement?
Divorce lawyers are all different. The practice of family law, which includes things like divorce, child custody, child visitation, alimony, and adoption, is an art not a science. Divorce lawyers are like a large box of crayons or a large pallet of different colored paints. Which one you choose depends upon what your goals are. Because it is an art, there are many approaches, styles, and tools attorneys use to represent you in your family law matter. One size does not fit all! In other words, a good family law attorney for one person is not necessarily a good attorney for someone else. Let's think about this for a moment.
Different Types of People
People are different. Some talk loudly and like to be the life of a party, while others prefer to remain quiet and find a side room to talk during a social gathering. A person who prefers to be quiet and reserved, might not want to select a lawyer who is loud, obnoxious, and aggressive. While the loud, life-of-the-party person might want an attorney who is similar to himself. So what types of divorce lawyers are there? What type of divorce lawyer do I need? Here are just a few…
The “Scorched Earth” Traditional Trial Divorce Lawyer
This type of lawyer LOVES to go to trial. She gets a lot of satisfaction being in court and winning for her clients. This lawyer probably thinks that lawyers who don't take cases to trial are not “real” lawyers. You might find this lawyer in a lavish office, possibly with marble flooring, expensive antique furniture, and other office furnishings worth more than your car, home, and investments combined! This divorce lawyer might suggest using a lot of legal tools to get boat-loads of information for trial. She might suggest doing depositions of family members, friends, co-workers, and maybe the dog too!
No trial is too expensive for this type of lawyer as long as you, the client, can continue to pay her legal fees. Emotional damage to you and your family is probably not a concern for her, and winning at trial is of primary importance. Your feelings are not relevant or important.
Of course, the above is a generality and probably will not be true for all lawyers of this type.
The “High-Volume, Low-Price” Divorce Lawyer
This type of lawyer probably wants to be the “Walmart” of law firms, carrying a large inventory of cases and offering very low fees. Generally, when one lawyer has a significantly high volume of cases she personally handles, she is probably unable to provide the personal attention many clients want. This lawyer may not be able to provide you with the quality of time your case needs. If she has a trial in your case on Monday and another trial in a separate case on Wednesday, she may not be able to devote enough time to prepare your case properly.
Again, the above are generalities and will not apply to all divorce lawyers of this type.
The “Settlement Negotiator” Divorce Lawyer
This type of lawyer focuses his attention on working with you to negotiate a settlement that you can live with. He knows that in many cases, the probability of getting you everything you want is very low. He understands the principles of negotiation, the psychology of conflict, and how people think and react. This lawyer is likely to have advanced training in mediation and other alternative dispute resolution concepts and techniques. He also thinks that going to trial should be the last resort, and the only option available after all other attempts to resolve your case have failed. Your feelings are important to him. He cares about your well-being, the well-being of your family, and practices in a way that tries to minimize emotional harm and damage to your family.
So, I've given you a glimpse into the types of divorce lawyers out there to help you answer the question what type of divorce lawyer do I need. In reality, there are as many types of family law lawyers as there are people.
Your job is to find the right one for you. You are going to be working closely with whomever you choose, so try to choose someone you like.