Divorce attorneys vary greatly when it comes to personality, level of experience, areas of expertise and more. In the following post, Dallas divorce attorney Aubrey Connatser offers advice for wealthy individuals on how to hire a divorce attorney when sizeable assets and custody of children are at stake.
Divorce is rarely easy, regardless of income level. However, how an affluent person approaches divorce and the divorce attorney he or she chooses can have a significant impact on the outcome of their divorce case.
If you are wealthy and plan to divorce, consider the following tips to find a divorce attorney whose values align with yours, and who has the capabilities to meet your financial and child custody goals.
No. 1: Ask trusted advisors to recommend a good divorce attorney.
One of the best ways to begin your search for a divorce attorney is to ask a trusted attorney you already work with to make a recommendation. For example, a lawyer who is known and trusted by your family or who handles legal concerns for your family business is typically a good resource.
People in the legal community tend to be the ones who know who the good divorce lawyers are in the cities and counties where they practice. Also, if you know someone who has (1) gone through a divorce, (2) been similarly situated, (3) had a good experience with their lawyer, they can be another great resource.
What a lot of clients tell me when we meet for the first time is, “I got your name from so-and-so, and then when I asked someone else who they would recommend, your name came up again. So that made me think you must be someone I want to talk to or hire.” If you keep hearing the same attorney’s name popping up, that’s a good way to narrow down your search.
Looking for more helpful tips? Check out these 18 helpful tools in our Ultimate Divorce Toolkit.
No. 2: Interview more than one divorce lawyer.
I always recommend people interview more than one divorce attorney, because you want to hire a lawyer whose experience and approach to divorce aligns with your goals. It’s also important to meet face-to-face, because if you like how the attorney represents himself or herself in person, chances are good that the judge will like them too.
The in-person meeting allows you to get a good feel for the attorney, determine whether the two of you are compatible and find out if you share the same ethics, morals and values.
No. 3: Seek out an attorney who will be diligent about maintaining your privacy.
Affluent parties who want to stay out of the spotlight shouldn’t hire an attorney they see on the news with their divorce clients. This is especially true if any fame or notoriety is associated with either spouse. Instead, hire someone who is known to use discretion, maintain confidences and will be dedicated to maintaining privacy.
No. 4: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the attorney.
It’s important to find a lawyer who has business acumen and experience, because the wealthy tend to have more complicated assets. Some attorneys have more experience with complex property cases, while others are stronger on custody cases. Some lawyers are strong in both areas. Look for an attorney who has extensive experience in the issues present in your case.
Get Aubrey’s insight on a landmark $1 billion divorce settlement in this past story on Big & Rich Texas Divorces.
No. 5: Avoid hiring a solo practitioner.
Solo practitioners typically don’t have the bandwidth to adequately address all of the needs of affluent clients. Instead, you want to hire an attorney, not necessarily in a large firm, whose practice is equipped with lawyers with various levels of skill and experience.
It’s crucial to hire someone who has the manpower and capacity at their law firm to manage a case of your size, especially if the case is document intensive.
No. 6: Seek out an attorney with significant experience in the courtroom.
Whether you plan to pursue a litigated divorce or a collaborative divorce, it’s important to hire someone with courtroom experience. Look for an attorney who understands how things will likely play out at the courthouse and who is familiar with the court system in the county where you reside.
Since founding Connatser Family Law in 2013, Aubrey Connatser and her team have firmly established the next in a line of great Texas divorce and family law firms. To learn more about divorce and child custody in Dallas and Collin Counties, please call (214) 617-1583 to speak confidentially with a knowledgeable and compassionate member of the Connatser Family Law team.