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How do you choose a divorce attorney?

Choosing a divorce attorney is one of the most important decisions you will make after the decision to end the relationship. It is also one that should be done as quickly as possible to ensure that all of your filings are done in a timely manner and you have legal counsel should issues come up, as they often do once the paperwork gets started.

The most important thing to look for in a divorce attorney is someone who handles family law cases regularly. This person will be knowledgeable about the current Florida family law guidelines and code and will also be familiar with the family court judges and other family law attorneys in the area. If there are any special aspects to your case, such as allegations of abuse, high-value assets or international custody schedules, it's a good idea to try to find an attorney who has experience with these types of cases as well.

It's also very important to find an attorney with whom you are comfortable talking. Building trust between an attorney and the client is very important. If you are not comfortable being candid with your attorney or asking questions about things you don't understand, it might not be a good match. It's just as important that your attorney be candid with you and help you build reasonable expectations and goals.

Lastly, it's not a good idea to hire an attorney who is someone you already know or is very close to your situation in most cases. While you may feel more comfortable with a friend, family member or colleague, anyone who also has a relationship — however distant — with your ex is likely not a good choice.

Source: Divorce Magazine, "Choosing a Divorce Lawyer," Diana Shepherd, accessed April 22, 2016

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