Your divorce process can be a long and complicated affair as you struggle with this new phase in your life, running to the courts, taking care of kids, interacting with a public notary and so on. It is not an easy task to find, interview and choose a good divorce lawyer in Singapore. However, when you follow certain steps, you will end up making an informed decision and have a high confidence in the final decision. To start with, people around you will advise you to seek out for those family attorneys who specialise in family law. You should also feel at ease with the practitioner you eventually choose and should be confident that the person or firm you chose to represent you is concerned, knowledgeable and skilled about what is best for you.
Begin By Asking For Referrals
In case you are aware of anyone close to you who have already gone through a divorce process, you can ask them to recommend the name of a attorney who they have been satisfied with during their proceedings. This is not limited to just people in your network who have hired a divorce lawyer. Lawyers are usually specialised in more than one area of the law. Even if that person hired the attorney for something other than their break-up, you can still ask for a recommendation if that person had a good experience with them.
This is because good lawyers are always keen to help those who need legal help. Even if that lawyer does not specialise in divorce or family law, they can still recommend another person in their law firm or network who they think can help you out. What more, you can even tell them your requirements, e.g female/cheap/experienced lawyer and they can find a relevant one for you. (This is also how lawyersearch works!)
These people can provide you with the details of their lawyers if they have been happy with their efforts. It is always a good beginning when your co-worker, relative or a trusted friend gives you a good referral. However, despite that, you should arrange for a one-to-one interview with the said practitioner since it is crucial to ensure that they are a good match for you.
To further solidify your decision, you can do a quick online search of the attorney you’ve considered to see their background and experience. Some of them even have clients reviews to help you decide.
Make Your First Call To The Short-listed Lawyers
When you make your first call, you may get certain valuable insights about what you should expect if you hire the said lawyer. You can let them know that you want to meet them during your call. Did the lawyer greet you properly when you spoke to them? Did he or she assist you in a courteous and prompt manner or told you to leave a voice-mail?
All these are personality traits that separate the good lawyers from the great. Even the way their secretary handles the phone call says a lot about the quality of the people in that firm. Do not be afraid to shop around. There are close to 900 law firms in Singapore as of end 2016. If one doesn’t work out, there are still hundreds of others to choose from !
Come Prepared With Your Questions
It will be really a big help when you have informed ahead of the consultation what the most crucial issues before you are. Is it important to retain your existing home? What about parental access or custody rights of your kids? Do you need to protect your retiring assets? Hence, list down all the questions you want to ask the lawyer during your consultation to ensure you remember everything vital to you.
As the time with these attorneys are limited, ask only important questions. Questions that you are dying to get the answers to. Consultation fees can skyrocket especially if the lawyer charges by the hour.
Being Candid Will Help You Make A Fine Choice
When you want your legal consultation to be meaningful, it is important for the divorce lawyer you are interviewing to know all the relevant information related to your vital issues. When you conceal any relevant information, you could be restricting the ability of that lawyer to assess your situation fully and give you appropriate suggestions. A divorce lawyer may not be able to offer you proper legal advice when they have inaccurate or incomplete information.
Be honest and transparent. Lawyers encounter people from all walks of life. If you are ashamed of your situation, there’s a good chance they’ve seen worse. Furthermore, concealing information will waste time and money down the road if they have to redo all the legal work and charge you for the extra time taken.
Time To Ask Your Questions
It is likely for you to be educated about the applicable laws and legal process relevant to your case. However, do not hesitate to ask about their law office, about their work, billing practices and ways of maintaining contact with the clients.
Many lawyers do not give their personal contact numbers to their clients, so do not be surprised. This is because clients can get quite ‘enthusiastic’ and call/text the lawyer at every available opportunity. I’m sure you wouldn’t want your phone to be ringing all the time. Respect their time and they’ll be happy to help you get the result you want.