Divorce Advice – How NOT to Hire Your First (or Next) Divorce Lawyer

You’ve all seen them, I know – ads by divorce lawyers on why you should hire them.  You’ve probably read articles in newspapers or magazines about how to pick the right attorney.  I mean, if you’re getting divorced you have to get this right, right?

Not necessarily.  The truth is that family law isn’t all that complicated.  It’s really a lot like being a successful investor – many believe you have to find the next great advisor or the next homerun investment, and a lot of folks chase that big hit.  The truth is, there are a lot of ways to invest successfully but most of them are boring.  You put back money for years, if not decades, in very un-sexy investments that tend to plod along.

But, if you do that then you avoid taking the big hit.  The big loss. And THAT is the key.  You don’t need the big hit, but you must avoid the big loss.

Same is true in law.  You don’t need the best.  You need good.  Steady. Honest. And with lots of common sense and life experience.

So, here is my top five list of how NOT to hire your first (or next) divorce lawyer –

  1. Hire someone because they promise to be “your” attack dog. (Unbridled aggression almost always benefits the aggressive lawyer and almost never his or her client.)
  2. Hire someone because they seem to identify with your plight and are outraged at how poorly you’ve been treated. (Come on, people.  Some of you are SO gullible.  Do you want a cheerleader or an attorney?)
  3. Hire someone because they promise you almost unbelievable results. (This is just like investing – if a guy calls you and touts an investment that returns a guaranteed 50% a year run – don’t walk – the other way.)
  4. Hire someone to scare your ex-wife or ex-husband to be into submission. (Take it from me – doesn’t work.  Most lawyers aren’t that scary, and those who are you don’t want.  Scary works for Freddie Krueger.  Not so much here.)
  5. Hire someone because you just know the other party won’t hire a lawyer and this will be a turkey shoot. (Never turns out that way.  Wish I had $10.00 for every client who ever said that to me, then the most difficult attorney we could imagine showed up for the other side and we had a long, expensive battle royal on our hands.


Take care.  And good hiring.  Grace and peace.

Mark Lewis