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New Jersey divorce: Choosing the right attorney

It is important that divorcing spouses in New Jersey use care when choosing who to hire to handle their cases to ensure they select the right lawyer.

For any number of reasons, New Jersey couples may decide to end their marriages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate in New Jersey as of 2011 was 3.6 for every 1,000 residents. When married couples make the difficult decision to split, they often choose to obtain legal counsel. It is important that they take care when deciding who to hire to represent them in these matters.

Ask friends and family for suggestions

Before hiring a divorce lawyer, it is advisable that people ask their friends and family members for suggestions. Those who have also gone through a divorce may be able to recommend an attorney who they found to be qualified and compassionate. This may help divorcing spouses to narrow down the attorneys who they are considering to represent them.

Research potential lawyers

After getting recommendations from friends and family members, it is still not recommended for people to just choose a name. Rather, they should research the attorneys they are considering. Divorcing spouses may find it helpful to look into the qualifications and experience of potential lawyers, as well as read reviews from prior clients. This may help them determine which legal representatives might be best suited for their situations and needs.

Interview possible candidates

In addition to researching potential attorneys, it is also suggested that people interview their possible candidates. During such interviews, they may get a feel for the lawyers' personalities, styles and strategies. This may help them to make their decision.

When interviewing potential legal representatives, people should keep in mind that they may be negotiating on their behalf. For example, property division in New Jersey is based on equitable distribution. The New Jersey Courts point out that this means a couple's assets may be split based on what is fair and reasonable, rather than equally between the two spouses. Therefore, people's divorce lawyers may have to argue or negotiate in order to help them obtain favorable shares of their marital assets.

Ask about the costs

The fees for divorce lawyers' services may vary significantly from one to the next. Since their assets may be tied up during their cases or they may have limited funds, it is important that people think of the costs when choosing an attorney. When researching or interviewing potential candidates, they may query about their fees. Having an idea what each lawyer may charge may help them to rule out those that they cannot afford.

Look for red flags

As people consider attorneys to represent them in their divorce cases, it is advisable that they watch for red flags. For instance, is the attorney respectful of other legal representatives or his or her staff? Did the lawyer treat them with respect and attention during the interview? If not, it may be a sign that the legal representative is not the right choice.

Additionally, divorcing spouses should be wary of bold guarantees. Sometimes, lawyers may make promises they cannot follow through with in order to win a client's business.

Making a choice for the future

The attorneys who people in New Jersey choose to represent them in their divorces may negotiate on their behalf with the other side or argue for them in court. Consequently, divorce lawyers may have a significant impact on their clients' cases. Therefore, people should use care when deciding which attorney to hire.