Recently, I had a phone call from a friend of a perspective client asking my thoughts on her friend’s divorce judgment. There were complaints that the Guardian ad Litem and the judge were bias against him. I explained to the person that although there are biases it is my experience that it is often times easier to blame others as opposed to looking at how your case was presented. Often times, this is left to your attorney.
I mentioned to this person that perhaps her friend’s attorney was not prepared and may not have presented a case with evidence favorable to him. She tended to agree. The answer to her original question then seemed to be that perhaps it was her friend’s choice of lawyers more so than bias against him.
I have been representing people through the divorce process for almost all of my 28 years of practice. I have found that the people who fair better in divorce are those represented by lawyers who are prepared. There are at least five things to look for in a divorce lawyer that anyone who is going through a divorce or who has post-divorce issues should consider when hiring an attorney. Those five are:
- Knowledge. Does the attorney know the law, the court system in which the divorce is or will be filed, the opposing attorney, the Guardian ad Litem if one is already appointed and necessary experts needed for the best results. A knowledgeable lawyer will keep your costs down and get better results.
- Experience. Has the lawyer successfully tried cases against the opposing counsel, with the judge and involving the same Guardian ad Litem? The more complicated divorces the attorney has tried the more his or her experience can help you with your case. Although an inexperienced attorney may be less expensive at first glance an experienced attorney can generally cut through the issues and get you the results in much less time than an inexperienced or ill prepared attorney.
- Compassion. You will get better results especially in cases involving children and custody and placement issues with an attorney who really cares about children. Attorneys who know how divorce can impact the child as well as how they develop, what they are interested in and their concerns will give you the best chance of doing the right thing by your children. An attorney who does not have children, doesn’t know anything about children nor cares about children is not the attorney that you need if your children are important to you.
- Costs. Don’t be fooled by choosing the lawyer with a lower hourly rate. The lower hourly rate generally reflects less experience. The less experienced attorney is less likely to get you the results you are entitled. In addition, if the attorney bills by his or her hourly rate and does not utilize the services of legal assistants, paralegals, etc., then you will be paying that hourly rate no matter what work is performed. On the other hand, lawyers who utilize paralegals and legal assistants and bill for their time accordingly can actually end up costing you less than the lawyer with the lower hourly rate doing all of the work.
- Preparedness. The lawyer who prepares for everything from the initial conference to every hearing in your case will be the lawyer that helps you get the best results. Lawyers who are unprepared, do not know the facts of your case when talking with you, show up late for hearings or meetings and do not do the hard work that is necessary to properly prepare and prosecute a divorce case is not the lawyer you want. The lawyer who is not prepared will constantly have to review the file to refresh him or herself of the facts and will end up costing you more money. A prepared attorney will be able to present your case in a concise, well organized and detailed presentation and will give you the best chances of a positive result.
Attorney David Kowalski and I have been representing people with family law needs, including appeals for more than 30 years. We utilize technology, legal assistants and paralegals to make sure that we are as prepared and present your case in the most meaningful way to achieve the best results. We help you do and achieve what is best for your children in those difficult custody and placement cases. We do this because we listen, we care and we get results!
If you, a friend or a family member are in need of a divorce attorney or have questions about divorce or post-divorce matters please contact either Attorney David Kowalski or Attorney Mark Krueger for a free, no cost, no obligation consultation. We can quickly address your needs and can outline how we can help you resole the difficult issues that come with divorce.
In the Madison area contact us at (608) 824-9540, in the Baraboo area at (608) 356-3961 or statewide at (866) 455-2993.