There are a several great divorce attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee, but just because they are the best divorce lawyer for someone else does not mean they are the best divorce attorney for you. Both people, lawyers, and the cases have their own personalities. It is important that you try to pick the best divorce lawyer for you and what you want to see happen in your divorce.
It is important to think about the following things before you hire your attorney:
Is this going to be a amicable division?
Is my goal resolution or revenge?
Are there kids?
Is there property?
Is there a business?
Is this an alimony case?
Can I afford prolonged litigation?
What type of contact and communication levels do I need?
Is there a political factor involved?
These questions are important to know the answer to before doing your consult with your attorney so that you can figured out if the lawyer is the best lawyer for you.
Is it amicable? If the division is going to amicable, the best lawyer for you will be someone who is a strong negotiator and perhaps willing to work on a partially refundable retainer or a smaller retainer because if you work things out it will be a cheaper divorce than a full-blown contested action. Likewise, you will want to look for signs that the attorney recognizes you want to keep it amicable as they will be the best divorce attorney for you compared to an attorney that comes out speaking about how they are going to fight and be polarizing or aggressive.
Is my goal resolution or revenge? Think about your goal in choosing your attorney. Certain attorneys are known for being tough negotiators and are able to find settlements where you thought there wasn’t ever going to be one. They know which mediators to use in different cases and will pick accordingly. If your goal is resolution, ask your attorney about mediation and how likely they think the case is to settle. The best attorney for your divorce when your goal is resolution is one that will be straight up and explain to you that they can’t control your spouse, but if there is a deal they will find it and it will be up to you to decide to accept the agreement or go to trial and what those risks are to you. In contrast, some people want revenge as part of their proceedings. For example, if there is a cheating spouse you may want to make it hurt and that is okay but that is something you need to discuss with your divorce attorney. Some attorneys love to take on cases where you get to just go after someone, other attorneys find that tedious and draining and are not willing to proceed that way, which means you may wind up not just fighting your spouse but also fighting your attorney who is going to keep pushing on you to accept settlement agreements.
Factors like children, property or alimony also matter in picking the best attorney for you. The more factors involved, the more you will want to steer away from a brand new attorney and look for an attorney with at least five years of divorce experience. These factors greatly complicate a divorce and you will want an attorney that has dealt with contested cases with businesses or alimony before your case. Also if your case has a political angle such as a spouse that is very well-connected locally, depending on the connection you may want either a local attorney or an attorney from a surrounding county depending on the facts. The best attorney for your divorce may be either but you will need to address is with your attorney.
Your communication needs also matter. If you know you are going to want to speak with your attorney almost daily and you can afford to do so, you will want an attorney that charges more (think $20,000 retainers) but only takes on under a dozen cases per year. These attorneys will be very attentive but you must be sure that you can afford the cost of this hand-holding and you will want to be up front with the attorney because they will tell you if they can do that or not, and discuss the costs of doing so. If you only have a limited amount of money the best divorce attorneys will be able to tell you whether or not they think these need will be a problem so you can decide if you want to risk being terminated by the attorney for non-payment or being uncomfortable if they have a busy practice and cannot always speak with you once a day. Also make sure you are comfortable with whether or not they use assistants to speak with your instead of always calling you directly themselves. The best attorney may not be the best for you, for example, if they are busy and you will need a lot of contact because even though they may do an amazing job if you are stressed out because you only hear from them personally once per month then you may wish to get someone who acts more as a therapist than as a legal counselor.
These are just examples of two of the questions but show why you need to know the answer to the questions in advance so you can discuss with your attorney what you want and what the key factors are in your divorce to find the best divorce attorney for you. Most importantly, address the matters up front with your attorney to ensure you have the best attorney for your divorce.
Morgan Smith is a divorce attorney practicing in Middle Tennessee and primarily in Davidson, Williamson and Sumner county. She regularly appears in Davidson, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson courts yearly.