Hiring A Divorce Lawyer? Avoid These 10 Mistakes

One of the most important tips you receive when you’re going or are about to go through the painful process of divorce is to lawyer up. Well, here are some mistakes that people can normally make when hiring a divorce attorney.

Not Doing Your Research

The most important thing to do when selecting a divorce lawyer is research. You would be surprised at the fact that people don’t normally consider research and just go with “whatever lawyer is available”. You need to consider the type of attorney you need for your divorce proceeding.

Whether it’s someone your friend recommended or you’ve heard good things about, it’s crucial to take your time out, sit down, and research that specific lawyer. There are a lot of things that don’t scratch the surface, so you need to ensure that you have all the bases covered, like what jurisdiction they cover, what cases they handle, whether they’re open for a consultation or not, and other things like that.

Going For “Famous” Lawyers

This is something that a lot of people will do. They tend to go for famous lawyers. Whether they’re a really popular lawyer in your district, they’ve appeared on TV, or are the legal celebrity of your area, people gravitate towards these lawyers more. Well, that’s not the brightest idea.

For starters, these lawyers are very pricey and even a simple consultation can cost more than what a regular lawyer would charge for a case. Secondly, these lawyers tend to be overbooked and they can’t handle any more cases, but they do end up taking more because that’s good PR for them. Having an overbooked lawyer is a bad mistake because they won’t be able to give your case the distinct attention it needs.

Choosing Based On Price

While lawyers do charge fees, it’s really important to not make your choice based on that very fact. Some lawyers will be extremely expensive, some will be in the middle lane and some can also take your case pro bono. It’s not smart to choose the most expensive one or the cheapest one.

Expensive doesn’t always mean the best whereas lawyers with the lowest fee may be overbooked. So, while price is an important factor to keep in mind, don’t make your decision solely on it.

Doing It By Yourself

Divorce can be a draining process. Sometimes, you might feel like you need to do everything on your own, from meeting the lawyer to making important decisions, but that’s not the best way to go about things. While you need to stay level-headed at all times, it’s also not a bad thing to have your support system accompany you for a couple of meetings with the lawyer.

There are a lot of heavy topics that you need to sit through and make decisions on like child custody and support payments and if you’re still in the divorce haze, then chances are that you won’t be able to make sound decisions. So, have your family or friend accompany you so that you can have another opinion to listen to, before making your decision.

You’re Not Being Clear

Meeting up with the lawyer, especially if it’s your first time and it’s for a divorce, can be extremely daunting. This can cause you to get flustered and forget about things that you need to ask. The lawyer doesn’t care that you’re not being clear, but it will hurt your case in the end, so the responsibility is entirely up to you.

Make sure that you’re organizing everything, not only your thoughts but also important questions and queries that need clarification. You can then ask your lawyer all of the questions one by one until things start to make more and more sense.

Choosing Inexperienced Lawyers

This is something that a lot of people don’t even think about and the result could lead to you getting the short end of the stick, by the time the divorce proceedings wrap up. You should not experiment with different lawyers and go for amateur ones.

This is your divorce case and you need someone with sound experience in family law and dealing with divorce cases of all kinds. That’s not to say that inexperienced lawyers aren’t good, but they are not ideal for real-world cases of divorce. So, always go for divorce attorneys Fairfax VA who have experience to show their worth.

Ignoring The Fee Agreement

This is something that needs to be covered the first time you meet up with your lawyer, but you’ll be surprised at the fact that people don’t even pay attention to it. You need to go through the fee agreement of the lawyer. If you don’t, then it can lead to unnecessary charges that could ultimately lead to financial burdens.

Discuss the hourly rates, any other fees, and consultation charges. Also, go over the payment plans and modes, so that you can decide if this is the lawyer you want to go with.

Expecting Lawyers To Be Sympathetic

You need to remember this fact: Lawyers are not therapists. They are doing their job of being your legal advocates so you can’t expect them to sympathize with you. You’re going to need a therapist for that. If you feel like you’re struggling with your emotions and are having a hard time coping with the separation, then you probably need to get some help from a therapist. You can’t find that in a lawyer’s office.

When you engage with your lawyer, things are strictly business and there’s no room for emotions and breakdowns. So, draw a mental line in your head as to where you need to go, when things get worse.

Not Checking The Reviews

You’re advised to get a good lawyer, but you might be thinking: Well, how is that going to happen? This mistake will prevent you from selecting an inexperienced and bad lawyer. You must check the reviews of the lawyers you’ve narrowed down.

This is going to help you out a lot in understanding the work of the lawyer and whether they’re perfect for you or not. Reviews can be really helpful and they can provide a peek into the lawyer’s mode of work, without actually having to book a consultation.

Not Being Financially Knowledgeable

You can’t expect to get a grip on the divorce proceedings, if you don’t know what specific financial terms mean. Your lawyer might help you out a bit, but at the end of the day, they’re not your teacher and you need to educate yourself on financial terms, asset division, and custody-related things.

Lawyers expect their clients to be knowledgeable about the basic stuff and if you’re not, then all of the blame is on you. So, take some time out and understand the legal terms and associated laws.


Hiring a divorce lawyer isn’t as simple of a task as people perceive it to be. You should consider many things to evaluate different options for choosing the right divorce lawyer. You should also consider the type of divorce you want. For example, if you and your partner want an amicable divorce, you should hire an uncontested divorce lawyer Fairfax VA. So, avoid this list of mistakes to stay in the safe zone.

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