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10 Qualities to Look for in a Great Divorce Lawyer

Finding a great divorce lawyer that will promote your interests and expertly navigate the law, particularly regarding contentious and emotional matters, can be tough. If you want an attorney that stands out from the rest, here are the qualities of a divorce lawyer in Atlanta GA to keep in mind.

It is hard enough to find a lawyer you are comfortable with, especially if you’ve had legal dealings in the past that were less than helpful for you. Remember, if you are hiring a cut-throat, no-holds-bar type of lawyer, not only are you paying for this lawyer, monetarily, but also potentially emotionally. Be prepared.

A good divorce lawyer in Minnesota, or a good lawyer in any location, for that matter, will campaign for your interests but will also be honest and let you know what is, or is not, possible in a specific situation. Listen to your lawyer, but make sure you are choosing a lawyer who is compassionate and listens to you as well.

10 Qualities to Look for in a Divorce Lawyer in Atlanta, GA

1. Integrity

The Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct is a good starting point. Your attorney must prove that they mean what they say, not build false expectations, and should be willing to tell you what they cannot do on your behalf. The State Bar of Georgia provides different resources, including lists of board certifications for family law and any disciplinary actions.

2. Competence

Memberships with legal organizations or committees, accolades from law schools, peer-reviewed published articles, and specialized knowledge, such as in child custody, women’s or men’s issues, business, or bankruptcy, are good indicators of ability. The number of years in practice, professional recognition, and background in public service can also demonstrate substantial skill.

3. Reliability

You should be able to paint a picture of an attorney’s professionalism from their firms’ websites, the attorney’s LinkedIn profiles, or other sites. Certain organizations have been established in the legal field to help people find a top-rated divorce lawyer in Atlanta, GA or elsewhere. Courts follow strict timelines and precise rules, and you need to know your attorney will adhere to them.

4. Diligence

Your situation is vitally important to you. Your attorney should build expectations for your relationship at the outset so you have a standard by which to hold your attorney accountable. An exceptional attorney will consistently deliver on promises, will work with you to produce quality material, and will be persistent in meeting your goals.

5. Empathy

Marital and family issues can be traumatizing. Your attorney should understand your situation and work through issues with you. Your attorney can give perspective, help you understand the options before you and not lead you down a one-way track, and should be able to guide you to another qualified attorney if they are unable to work with you, such as due to a conflict of interest.

6. Resourcefulness

Beyond being emotionally challenging, family matters can be complex and quickly evolve. Your attorney should be able to keep pace and know how to react to situations as they arise. They should also know how to obtain or direct you to additional resources to help if needed, such as counseling, benefits, housing, or other requirements.

7. Calmness

Though empathy is important, an attorney must be level-headed and detached while vigorously pursuing your interests, as well. Particularly with family legal issues where emotions can run high, you should trust that your attorney will be able to help keep a steady heading through any storm. 

8. Assertiveness

An attorney must know when to be assertive and when to be cautious while being able to express issues to you in a meaningful while. This includes the attorney’s behavior toward the opposing party and inside the courtroom. Though you want your attorney to staunchly advocate your interests, you also want an attorney who will know when waiting will bring better results and to know the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness.

9. Communication

Good communication is key to a productive and positive relationship with your attorney as well as with the attorney’s staff. You will frequently need to communicate through legal staff, and they should reflect the same qualities as the attorney. You should be able to understand and actively contribute to your case. You should also feel confident that your interests are properly communicated to the court and the opposing party.

10. Relationship Building

Building positive relationships can reduce contention, minimize stress and build trust. This includes assisting the client in knowing themself, setting realistic and reasonable expectations, and learning to accept advice from experts in order to obtain a more satisfactory outcome with minimal hardship. Relationship building leverages these other qualities and enhances your case’s likelihood of success.

11. Ability to Negotiate

The last thing you need is long and drawn-out litigation. Negotiation is its own art and ties together qualities such as assertiveness, communication, and relationship-building with resourcefulness to produce unanticipated opportunities. Where family matters are involved, the courts often require some form of negotiation, which can often break down and lead to hardship for all involved if your attorney is a proficient negotiator.

Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff is not always easy, but putting in the effort to do so for important life decisions will ultimately be well worth it. Keeping an eye out for these qualities will help you make the best decision.

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