Choosing A Divorce Lawyer

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I have written about this subject before, but because there is so much confusion about the hiring of a divorce lawyer, I feel it is important to write about it again.

The first issue one must decide after concluding that a divorce is inevitable, is whether or not to use professional assistance in terms of hiring a divorce lawyer.  Because of the economy, many divorcing couples try “do it yourself” divorce.  This is fine if you have no IRS debt, no credit card debt, and no assets that are joint.  Where the danger lies is that you may have joint assets and not realize it!  Then you are giving away your rights without know what they are. 

I often say that not using a divorce lawyer is penny wise and pound foolish.  And yes, divorce lawyers are not cheap.  But if you have children, assets or debts at stake, don’t be foolish.  Get a lawyer on your side.

How to choose one?  Go for a consultation.  Look around. A lawyer should not tell you only what you want to hear.  He/she should know what he/she is talking about, has years of experience, a nice office and an experienced staff.  Get a feel for compatability and trust.  Do not hire a lawyer solely upon advertisements or hourly rates.  Just because the hourly rate is low or the retainer is minimal, these are not good reasons to choose that divorce lawyer.  For more information, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

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What Makes A Good Divorce Lawyer?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida

All lawyers have to succeed in law school.  If students don’t reach a certain level of understanding, they just don’t get JURIS DOCTOR OF LAWS degrees.  Then PRACTICING ATTORNEYS must have a BAR LICENSE from the state in which they work.  In Florida, the bar exam is given twice a year and it is very, very difficult to get a passing grade.  Without that passing grade, without a minimum of legal knowledge, a lawyer does not get licensed to practice law in the State of Florida.

So assuming there are a bunch of licensed, practicing, divorce lawyers in a room, how do you know which one to pick?  There are several telltale criteria:

1.  Is the lawyer busy?  There are two ways to look at this.  Would you rather go to an empty restaurant or to a packed one?  If the lawyer is NOT busy, there has to be a reason and it would not be a good one. 

2.  Is the lawyer supported by a staff?  If the lawyer cannot afford at the least a secretary, there has to be a reason.

3.  Does the lawyer work from his/her kitchen table?  If the lawyer does not have a true office, be suspicious.

4.  Does the lawyer always look disheveled, drive an old busted up car, pant due to being overweight, generally of poor hygiene, screaming at his staff?  These are lifestyle indicators that may show an unbalanced personality.

5.   Is the lawyer always hyper, multitasking, or with a short attention span.  Be afraid, be very afraid. 

6.  Do other lawyers associate with this lawyer?  Is he/she active in voluntary bar associations or other professional organizations?  In the community at large?  The answer is obvious.

These initial things you should look for go to the type of person the lawyer is.  But wait…how do you know the healthy, stable, connected, prosperous lawyer is a good one?  Or better yet, good for YOU?

You need to sit with the lawyer in his office and discuss your particular legal matter.  You don’t have to agree with the lawyer, you just have to assess the competency.  You should see how the staff treats the lawyer, hopefully with respect.  Is the lawyer knowledgable?  Experienced?  Specialized in family law matters?  Is the lawyer confident?  Does the lawyer take time to explain things to you?  Is the lawyer concerned with the details of your matter and the big picture? 

IS THIS A PERSON TO WHOM YOU WISH TO ENTRUST WITH YOUR FUTURE?  That is the ultimate question.  At our Firm, we meet with clients face to face to discuss the facts of their marriage.  And we don’t rush.  We ask detailed, intimate questions about the relationship, finances, children.  We do a lot of listening, and a lot of hand holding, because the lawyers at the firm all have seen the effects of bad marriages and know what it feels like.

But more than that, the lawyers at the firm have a good reputation…with other lawyers as well as with the judges who sit on the family law bench in Palm Beach County.  The Firm’s litigators are skilled, experienced, respected, and this is all we do.  We do not take car accident cases, slip or fall, dog bites, commercial litigation.  We are divorce lawyers.  And have been for a long time.   

In summary, you must feel comfortable with your choice of divorce lawyer.  If you are not, it is time to switch, before mistakes are made and it becomes too late to do anything about it.  For more information about the lawyers of Robin Roshkind, P.A. (Robin Roshkind, Catherine Eaton or Maria Patullo), please visit our website at www.familylawwpb.com or call 561-835-9091 to schedule a meeting.