Perhaps you saw this coming; perhaps it was your idea—or perhaps not. Whatever the cause, the outcome is clear: you and your spouse are getting a divorce.
If it was not your idea, it is easy and normal, upon crossing this threshold of certainty, to commit yourself to seeking retribution. This could be retribution for the emotional trauma the divorce will cause you, or it could be a preemptive response to fears of financial harm. However, if you aspire to maintain your sanity in the weeks and months to come, then you should probably forfeit the goal of ‘revenge,’ or ‘payback,’ that is the all-too-human reflex in a case such as this. Here's what to do, instead.
1. Set Goals for a Peaceable Divorce
The first thing you should do after realizing the necessity of a lawyer is take stock of the goals you have to meet to live peaceably and securely after the divorce. You have assets and affective attachments to them; if you have children, then the language of economics and litigation of course scarcely registers the measure of emotion you will feel at the prospect of having limited access to them.
So—the first rule of thumb when seeking out your divorce attorney, even if you do hire the best divorce attorney in The Woodlands, TX, is repurposing that retaliatory urge and its concomitant passion for more constructive purposes.
2. Get a Lawyer Skilled in Mediation & Collaborative Law
Accenting this more sanguine attitude will be a lawyer who not only deals in family law, but who also specializes in collaborative divorce measures and divorce mediation (don’t worry—this does not mean therapy) over a more litigious approach. By pursuing a meditative approach, both parties will reduce the loss of the financial assets they are both working to protect. And more, whereas a court-battle will establish a post-divorce relationship founded on antagonism, a collaborative, attorney-mediated approach will promote a civil and working relationship between both parties.
The impact of such a relationship on children, if any are involved, is inestimable in financial terms. Therefore, while hiring the best divorce lawyer in The Woodlands means hiring one who is open to a more dialogic approach with the other party, it does not mean compromising on your values and goals.
3. Research the Firm's Track Record
Be sure to research the firm’s and attorney’s record of cases—won and lost.
4. Determine Whether or Not Collaborative Law Is Right for You
It’s worthwhile asking a prospective attorney upfront if a collaborative approach (where the two parties agree not to take their case to court) is in your best interest and the child’s or children’s.
5. Discuss Your Family's Best Interests
Regarding a child’s interest, both you and your prospective attorney ought to understand that what is in your own interest (financial or otherwise) is not necessarily in the child’s best interest. Seeing how the attorney reacts to such frank and personal expressions will also help you to gauge whether or not they really seem committed to resolving your divorce outside of court.
6. Consider the Size of the Law Firm
Consider the size and scope of the law firm: are they a sprawling corporate engine, or a more local, down-to-earth operation that specializes in the area of family law within which you need support?
7. Evaluate Your Attorney's Character
Finding the most qualified divorce attorney in The Woodlands is thus not limited to scrounging up the firm with the most wins—it is about finding the most human, the most compassionate, divorce attorney as well.