Getting a divorce is always an unpleasant process, and one of the biggest considerations is finding the right divorce attorney. Once the decision has been made, you want it to be over sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy.
It’s easy to do an online search for “divorce lawyers for women” and you may come up with a handful of names, but who do you choose?
Male Or Female?
As a woman in the divorce, you may be thinking that you would be better represented by a female attorney. That may be true for some divorce attorneys. The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) reported in 2017 that nearly 35% of lawyers at major law firms are female, a slight increase over the prior ten years (the full report is available here.) This report doesn’t take into consideration smaller “boutique” firms, or sole practitioners who have their own practice. So finding a female attorney wouldn’t be difficult.
But would it be better to have a female attorney? Not necessarily. The most important factor is a) if the attorney practices and is skilled in family law, and b) is this someone you can work with to defend your rights, those of your children, and the financial interests of both. If your preference is for a female attorney, you’ll need to apply the same standards to both men and women, and not just assume that a female attorney would be better.
The Right Lawyer For Your Divorce
The most important part of hiring a divorce lawyer is to find the right lawyer for you, whether it’s a woman attorney or not. Most attorneys offer free consultations, so use those to interview with more than one attorney as you would if you were hiring someone for your business, or to do a home renovation project.
When meeting with an attorney—male or female—for the first time, you’ll need to discover a few things for yourself:
- Is this someone you feel comfortable talking with? It’s important that the attorney you hire is someone you can tell all about your life, and why you’re getting a divorce. If you don’t feel like you can discuss all of the necessary details with this person, male or female, it’s time to go to the next attorney.
NOTE: An attorney is interested in the details that comprise the breakdown of your relationship, such as missing monies, hidden assets or infidelity. However, a divorce attorney isn’t a therapist, so to discuss the emotional aspects, find a therapist who you can talk with freely about the non-legal side of your divorce.
- What kind of experience does he or she have? Many people will call a family friend who is an attorney, or a “friend of a friend” for help with a divorce. While it may be easier, that family friend may not be familiar with all the complexities of a divorce. Better: call that family friend or “friend of a friend” who is an attorney and ask them for a referral to a divorce lawyer, especially if they work with women in divorces. Most attorneys know someone who practices family law, and will be happy to refer clients.
It’s also important that you be honest about everything with your attorney, even the less savory parts of your life that could affect your case. Your attorney is not going to judge you. Withholding information that could alter your case will not only cause problems down the road, but may require him or her to resign. If that happens, you’ll have to find a new divorce attorney all over again.
Tarrant County’s Compassionate Divorce Attorney
Wendy L. Hart has been helping people in the Fort Worth area with all of their family law issues since 2001. She represents both men and women in divorce, as well as child support, child custody/visitation, estate, and other family law matters with the compassion needed during a sensitive time.
Visit our Mansfield office at 2363 Highway 287 N, Suite 108, use our online contact form, or call us at (817) 842-2336. There’s no need to deal with a divorce or other legal matter on your own. Get help from the law office of Wendy L. Hart so you can move on with your life.