The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Divorce Lawyer (2024)

Divorce isn’t anyone’s wish, but if it happens, you need all the support you can get since it can be messy, expensive, and draining. Dissolving a union doesn’t happen overnight; the process can drag on for over a year.

The situation can be intense or simple depending on the spouses and the issues they’re dealing with. Although a divorce process can go down without a lawyer, consulting or hiring one may be necessary, especially if one partner insists on going to court or having a lawyer.

If you decide to hire a divorce lawyer to help you navigate the process, you must get one with solid experience in the field. Suppose one partner hires a lawyer; it’s almost impossible for the other to make it without one.

A divorce lawyer will do the heavy lifting for you while you heal or concentrate on other matters during the tying period. But how do you choose a divorce attorney? Read on to find out.

The Role of a Divorce Lawyer

Role of a Divorce Lawyer

A divorce attorney shields a client’s rights while handling divorce matters like custody, financial settlements and appearing in court to represent them. Most importantly, your divorce attorney will explain the law and legal options. The attorney will review a case situation and documents, then guide the client to get the best outcome.

Although most divorce cases might not make it to court, lawyers of those that do have to make serious preparations for the trial. They must provide opening and closing statements, prepare witnesses, and provide evidence as to why the client is dissolving the union.

Divorce cases that don’t make it to trial undergo a mediation process. A mediator facilitates the talks between the partners until they arrive at a resolution. The alternative is more peaceful and cheaper and ideal for parties with no children, the marriage is short, and little property to divide.

Another form of divorce is arbitration. Here partners can hold divorce negotiations abolishing the need to go to court and speed. Arbitration differs from mediation as both parties state their case before an arbitrator of their choice, who then decides how to help settle the divorce.

The arbitrator can be an attorney or retired judge. Once a decision is reached, note that it’s final and can’t be appealed.

How to Choose Your Defense Lawyer

Choose Your Defense Lawyer

Divorce can be intense, especially if there are properties to divide and little children. Here’s how to find and choose the right lawyer.

Know Your Needs

The parties getting a dissolution need to agree on the divorce terms, and if they’re in good times, filing for an uncontested divorce is the best option. If both parties are on good terms and agree to go through the process without going to court, the process is fast and cheap.

Suppose the spouses can’t agree on how to proceed; you can opt for alternative methods like arbitration or filing for an uncontested divorce. Here, someone else assists the couple in making decisions. Another option is to file for a no-fault or fault-based divorce.

  • No-fault divorce – It’s the most common type of divorce where a marriage ends without any party being responsible for the split.
  • Fault-based divorce – In this case, one party is responsible for the dissolution. It can be fueled by adultery, desertion, or abuse.

While defining your needs, deciding if you wish to file for a legal separation or divorce is crucial. In a legal separation, the couple is still married but lives apart. They can decide to take this path due to religious reasons, or they aren’t ready/sure about divorce.

Know the Different Types of Divorce Attorneys

Divorce lawyers have different abilities, and you must choose one that suits your needs. Decide if you need a mediator, attorney, or a traditional lawyer.

  • Mediator – An independent third party who helps a couple make decisions on the divorce terms. The option is good for parties who don’t wish to go to trial.
  • Collaborative lawyer – An attorney who represents both parties in a divorce. They work together to help the couple agree on divorce terms outside the court.
  • Traditional lawyer – Here, each partner gets a lawyer. The method is costly and more adversarial than the others.

Decide whether to hire a local attorney or one from out of state. In a contested divorce process, you may need to hire someone familiar with both family law and the local laws in a particular state. However, getting someone from outside your condition is an option if you go for a mediator or collaborative lawyer.


Divorce Attorney Experience

You need an attorney who knows what he’s doing and has rich experience handling divorce cases. A lawyer with a high level of expertise gives you a better shot at success. How do you measure a lawyer’s experience level? Look for references or reviews from previous clients and the number of divorce cases they have handled successfully.

If they have a website, check to see how long they have been in business, as that will give you a glimpse of the number of cases they might have handled. You can also look into new lawyers who have fresh and better perspectives that can work for you.

Research on Potential Lawyers

Once you know the type of lawyer you need, research potential options, then narrow down the best. You can ask friends for recommendations or people who have gone through a successful divorce process.

Talking to someone who has gone through a divorce will help you understand what to expect and how to survive the process. Someone who has undergone a divorce can also help you determine a lawyer’s strengths and weaknesses and how they handle clients.

Suppose you have no one in mind to provide recommendations; you can search online for lawyers in your area.



A divorce is an important event that you want to get right. You can only achieve success when going through the dissolution of a marriage by hiring a professional divorce lawyer to help you survive the process and triumph.

Lawyers can be expensive to retain, a setback for most people. However, partners don’t have to go to court and can choose other alternatives if the partners agree, like arbitration.