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How to choose your divorce lawyer

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How do you go about finding a decent divorce lawyer?
What most people still do is ask friends and family who have been through the process of getting divorced and splitting their money. This is a good idea - except that most people only get divorced once and therefore have no-one to compare their lawyer to. I would suggest that consulting friends and family should be a starting point definitely but it should be backed up by more research.
Check to see if the lawyer is ranked in Chambers and Partners, which is the most well respected and independent guide to the legal profession, as you cannot pay to be in it. So if your lawyer is listed there then that is a good start (select 'Family/Matrimonial' as your sector, and then search 'Law firms' for your area).
Don’t think just because a lawyer is expensive that they must be good. That can sometimes be true but not always.
Arrange a meeting and see if you like them. Remember they will be your guide through one of the most difficult times in your life. Sometimes I am on the phone to clients 4 or 5 times a day for lengthy periods – it is important that the relationship is a good one, as it will be sorely tested throughout the process because of the stressful situation you are in and because of the often large bills you will receive.
Most important of all though is to make sure your lawyer gives you advice from the outset. As long as you have a reasonable idea of your finances and those of your ex-partner there is no reason why a competent lawyer cannot give you a good idea of outcome at the initial meeting you have with them. Sometimes they won’t be able to (if for example you are ignorant about the finances or a significant element of them) but more often than not they should be able to. If you are not confident that your lawyer is giving you advice then you must think very carefully about whether they are right for you.


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