Keys to Hiring the Right Divorce Lawyer in Omaha
Online directories, and, in fact, most resources out there, both online and offline, that “help” you find a divorce attorney is best used after you have become clear about the kind of lawyer you want, the type of personality, and the approach that would best fit your case. You can then peruse these listings with an educated eye rather than gamble your family’s well-being on an internet search. In Omaha, there is a vast array of divorce lawyers, some of whom have very little experience in divorce, and some who have a great deal of divorce experience, including things like litigation, divorce mediation, and collaborative divorce. Some lawyers practice exclusively in divorce and family law, which is always your best option.
The importance of knowing what you want before talking to a potential divorce lawyer cannot be over-emphasized. Here’s what normally happens at an initial consultation: you arrive at the lawyer’s office and within an hour, in most cases, you have been indoctrinated into this lawyer’s personality, opinions, and typical approach to divorce practice. It’s not that clients are dumb or that lawyers are manipulative. For clients, the legal landscape is so foreign that most people do not understand the full range of their options, much less an appreciation of the power they can hold in their own divorce cases. For lawyers, they simply gravitate to the approach that best fits either their financial model or the strongest of their legal skill sets. Clients can feel so vulnerable at this stage of divorce that anything may sound reasonable; they are just relieved to have someone on their side. So, if you find yourself in this first meeting with a bulldog litigator, a hardcore approach to your divorce begins to seem reasonable. Or if you happen to be meeting with a lawyer skilled in mediation – that approach will begin to feel right, too, even if it may be the very worst thing for your case.
Divorce Lawyers Always Want to Sell you their Best Skillsets
As the saying goes: If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Thus, litigators want to litigate, mediators want to mediate. Divorce lawyers prefer to work within their wheelhouses and may resist, consciously or unconsciously, tailoring their approaches to your specific situation. This is not to demonize either of these styles, only to say that by going into a consultation blind, you risk agreeing to an approach that is not the best approach for your case, and ultimately losing control of your case entirely.
The fact is, like looking for a mate, there will be more attorneys in Omaha who are wrong for you than right. There are now so many lawyers in every legal community that the possibility of a mismatch is high – higher still if you are uncertain of the type of service your situation demands. The reasons for this are myriad, but one complaint I often hear relates to lawyers who don’t specialize in divorce at all. As crazy as it may sound, a lawyer does not have to even practice divorce and family law on a regular basis to handle your case. In fact, some lawyers who will offer to take your case handle only a few divorce cases per year as part of their overall practice. The problem with this is that law school does not prepare a lawyer to practice competently in this specific area, and it is only through training and experience that these cases can be handled properly. An attorney who invests all of his or her time handling family law cases is more likely to have the knowledge and experience needed to obtain your best possible resolution.
Not all Divorce Lawyers are Qualified to Handle your Particular Case
That said, even lawyers in Omaha who handle a large number of divorce and family law cases may not have the skills necessary to provide representation as it relates to all of your divorce options. Today, family law has evolved to include a large number of specific subspecialties, like mediated and collaborative divorce cases. These types of cases require very specific training, commitment, and, honestly, a certain talent to handle them properly. If the attorney you are considering hiring does not have experience in these areas, you are greatly limiting your options.