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It's a big legal universe: picking the right divorce lawyer

Lawyers who are available to potentially handle a divorce case are certainly not all the same in terms of experience and abilities, and it is understandable that most people contemplating marital dissolution might entertain a bit of stress concerning selection of their legal counsel.

In fact, it would be unusual for a person to not have some concerns when trying to select an attorney at such an important time. Divorce is a singular occurrence to which a number of key considerations attach, including children, property and support matters.

In other words, it is a legal event for which it pays -- both figuratively and literally -- to get things right.

A family law attorney and media contributor recently wrote an article passing along some sensible advice for would-be divorcing parties in Georgia and nationally to consider as they think about lawyer selection.

A major consideration, says Carla Schiff Donnelly, is to hire a specialist. Although this might seem somewhat obvious, the universe of lawyers is large, and it is hardly rare for a person to hire someone who might have strong legal smarts generally yet lacks acumen in the client’s field of need.

When divorce looms, that need is for counsel strongly grounded in divorce specifics. That is, a retained attorney should practice family law and have a deep background in divorce representation. He or she should be intimately familiar with the judges, courts and other divorce attorneys, and command strong knowledge over all matters important to the client -- things like child custody, property division, spousal maintenance, child support, visitation and related matters.

Obviously, an effective divorce lawyer is also empathetic, a good listener, completely focused on the client’s best interests and a strong communicator.

Such traits will become evident to a client -- or be seen as lacking -- through client/attorney interaction in discussing a divorce case.

“Trust your gut,” states Donnelly.

Source: Huffington Post, "Don't get stuck with the wrong lawyer: 6 steps to avoid the most common divorce mistake," Carla Schiff Donnelly," Sept. 30, 2013

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