The media is full of advertisements offering "quick and easy do-it-yourself" divorces, but marriage dissolutions are rarely quick or easy. Divorce is an extremely complicated process. It's never a matter of just splitting everything down the middle and moving on with your lives. If you have children, the complexities of divorce become even more convoluted while you and your spouse fight over custody and child support. You should never consider going through divorce alone because without experience you have no idea the protections you need to have in place for your children's and your futures. There will be things you would have never thought about, and this is why you need a skilled divorce attorney in your court—pun admittedly intended.
But how do you find a good divorce lawyer? It's not as easy as opening up a phone book, but it's not too complicated either. As long as you understand what to look for, the task of finding your attorney becomes quick and easy, even though your divorce might not be. If you keep in mind these five steps, you'll have the perfect divorce lawyer in no time.
- Ask Around
Unfortunately, we live in a society where you undoubtedly have a family member, friend or coworker who has gone through a divorce. If you trust this person, talk with him or her and find out whom their lawyer was and if they were satisfied with their counsel. It's even better if you know multiple people who have been through divorce, as you can make a list of Maine divorce lawyers who helped them through their difficult time.
- Contact the Attorneys Directly
Once you have a list of names, contact each attorney directly and ask him or her about their family law experience and record of accomplishment. How long have they been licensed to practice family law? What is their bar number? How long have they been helping divorce clients? How many clients have had children? What is their winning percentage in court? Have they handled divorces with similar circumstances as yours? While you are learning about them, also ask them for names and numbers of previous clients with whom you may speak.
- Call the References
Call each attorney's references to find out how satisfied he or she was with their divorce case. Know that most people will give glowing reviews, so ask some tough questions. Find out if they had any type of negative experience with the attorney at all and, if so, what. It might be something simple as they felt over-billed, but it might also be something more complicated. Humanize the attorney by encouraging the reference to speak honestly about his or her experience and find out if the reference's divorce situation was similar to yours.
- Conduct Further Research
Even if you are confident that each attorney's references spoke openly and honestly, it behooves you to double-check each attorney with the state to ensure he or she doesn't have any marks against their license. Maine family law attorneys must be admitted into the Bar Association, and they are regulated by the state's Board of Overseers of the Bar. At publication date, the number to call to check for disciplinary action against any Maine attorney is 207-623-1121.
- Utilize the AVVO Listing
If you don't know anyone who has been through a divorce, or you weren't satisfied with his or her attorney after you researched the lawyer, you can search for your own. One way to do so is using the Maine Bar Association's Lawyer Referral service. You may call the Bar Association at 1-800-860-1460 or fill out its online referral form at MaineBar.org. Another excellent lawyer referral service is AVVO.com, which offers a comprehensive lawyer directory for Maine family law attorneys.
The Law Office of William T. Bly also offers you comprehensive knowledge of family law. We focus on Maine divorces and ensuring all parties remain protected and receive their just awards during and after the dissolution of the marriage. We understand the complexities of the divorce process and want to make this difficult time as easy as possible on you and your children. Contact us today to discuss our qualifications. We believe we are your perfect divorce lawyer in Maine.