In Canada, over one third of all family law cases are divorce cases. The proportion of married couples has been steadily decreasing over the last two centuries, while common law unions are on the rise. According to Statistics Canada, in 2008 there were over 70,000 divorces in Canada; which is 5% more than in 2002.
Ending a marriage is not always an easy task, especially with so many emotional and societal factors involved. A separation agreement is a must, especially if you want to speed up the divorce process.
Moreover, you need proper legal advice from an expert who knows what they are doing. In order to look for an expert Ontario divorce attorney, there are some things you need to know.
1. Find an Attorney Focused on Family Law
First of all, remember to always look for a lawyer who concentrates in the area of family law. When they do, they are able to gain vast experience in that area of law to draw upon for your case.
Talk to your friends and family about legal professionals that they trust and are confident with. Another way to determine the reputation of the legal practice you are considering is to ask for a reference from previous clients that have provided permission from the lawyer to be contacted. You are always going to find mixed reviews of any professional, but typically stay away from anyone you are only finding negative feedback on. Determine where their office is and visit it. See how established they are and how long they have been working in their community. Longevity and growth of any business is usually a good sign.
Money is important. Make sure the professional you hire suits your budget. When it comes to your finances, always play it safe. Newer attorneys tend to be less costly but you want to ensure that they have the support network available to them, within a firm environment for example, where they draw from the experience of reputable family law attorneys. You do not want to pay a lawyer to do an assistant’s work; likewise, not all lawyer work needs to be conducted by a seasoned lawyer. In the end, you can save in excess of 40% of your total legal costs by making the right choice in who you retain.
4. Like Your Lawyer
The last thing you need to keep in mind when searching Ontario divorce attorneys is that you are on board with their personal style. An attorney will do much more than simply review your paperwork, since they will inquire with you about personal details, about your finances, marriage and life. Therefore, make sure you work with a lawyer you feel comfortable talking to.
After you find the right divorce attorney for you, you will gain the peace of mind of being on the right track. A divorce case can be active for up to two years which means that you will be interacting a lot with your family lawyer and his or her firm over that period. This is why choosing the right divorce lawyer is crucial. Try to not get bogged down with finding the cliché personality; the “piranha”/”pit bull”/”tiger” of a lawyer. Instead focus on the divorce attorney’s knowledge and ability to get results. Typically, a family law firm will employ many different personalities to attract clientele and to appeal to the varying nature of family law cases.
At Epstein & Associates, we provide a complimentary half-hour consultation so you can meet with one of our family lawyers in person to help you in the selection of your legal professional. Contact us today for more details.