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Picking a Divorce lawyer, what is the most important thing to know?

Saint Petersburg, FL |

I need to find a lawyer and feel confident that they are going to work hard for me. The one that I spoke with so far the retainer agreement is very one sided and does not make me feel like my best interest are a concern. How much should a typical contested divorce cost and take? How do I find out what the lawyers success rate is?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Avvo Email

    In the vast majority of cases, a dissolution of marriage is not a win –
    lose proposition, but rather a process of getting the parties to agree to a
    resolution of their financial and family issues. Only a small percentage
    of these cases go to trial and usually (although not always) because
    someone is being unreasonable or unrealistic. So there is no “success
    rate” if a win - lose ratio is what you are looking for.

    That said, an experienced lawyer who has a substantial portion of his
    practice devoted to family law is a good idea, so that all of the complex
    legal and equitable rules can be properly applied to your case, so that you
    can reach a fair outcome.

    In my experience a “typical middle class” divorce will cost between
    $5,000.00 and $7,000.00 to complete. If the parties can agree quickly it
    could be substantially less than $5,000.00. If one of the parties is
    unreasonable, angry or uncooperative, the cost can easily be substantially
    more than $7,000.00.


  2. no one wins in a divorce case. the lawyer should be competent in the field and be able to handle the case ethically and responsibly. A contested divorce will cost in excess of $10,000 or a lot more with kids etc.

  3. Retainer agreements are typically one-sided. Attorneys have to abide by rules put in place by the Florida Bar to protect the public and practice of law. They are one-sided because it helps to eliminate possible illegitimate claims against the attorney by their client. Legitimate claims will typically be unavoidable by even the most air tight and strongest contracts.

    The retainer agreement will not really mention your best interests. But a competent attorney will typically work for your best interests because its in their best interests as well normally so as to avoid Bar complaints and possible suit for malpractice.

    Success rates are relative, in the sense that there are standards established by, statutes guidelines and precedent as to how property and assets are divided. If you do not feel comfortable signing with an attorney then you likely shouldn't as the lack of confidence and security could affect your participation in your own case.

    No attorney-client representation relationship has been established. Only with a signed contract, being an express agreement between us, is an attorney-client relationship established.

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