Hiring a Utah divorce attorney is difficult.
There are hundreds of attorneys to choose from (as we’ll see, though, most don’t really do that many divorces), and trying to figure out who’s best for you and your family can be confusing.
I’ve written about things to look for when trying to find the best Utah divorce attorney. (To read that post, click here.)
Today, I wanted to take a little different angle and talk about what I’ve found are the 5 biggest mistakes people make when hiring a divorce attorney.
Here they are:
- Hiring based on price.
This has to be #1.
It is, by far, the biggest mistake I see people make when hiring a Utah divorce attorney.
If you’re #1 consideration when hiring an attorney is finding the lowest-cost attorney, you’ve already lost.
This is because you’ve limited yourself to the lowest-quality divorce attorneys (usually those just having graduated from law school, or those who have little to no experience with divorce).
On the other side of the coin, if you’re #1 consideration is finding the highest-cost attorney, you’ll be bled dry with costs and fees.
There’s a reason super high-priced attorneys charge exorbitant hourly rates and won’t give you an idea how much your divorce will cost (they’ll say, “Well, it depends”): it’s because they want to keep you in the dark and charge you for every second they think about your case.
This is why flat fees are such a good way to go when searching for a divorce attorney.
- Hiring a divorce attorney who doesn’t call you back.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: an attorney will never communicate with you more than when you’re trying to hire him or her or pay money.
So, if you call a divorce attorney for a consultation, and they don’t call you back quickly, that’s a red flag.
If, after your initial consultation, the attorney you met with doesn’t follow up with you multiple times by phone, email, or text, that’s a red flag.
And if you decide to hire an attorney, and the attorney doesn’t get back to you quickly, or makes it hard for you to pay to get things started, that’s a red flag.
Communication will only get worse.
- Hiring an attorney who does more than divorce.
Last time I counted, there were about 800 attorneys in Utah that are part of the divorce section of the Utah Bar Association.
In other words, there are about 800 Utah attorneys who do divorces on a somewhat regular basis.
But, when you look at those 800 attorneys, you find that the vast majority of them don’t actually take on many divorce cases.
Instead, they take on some divorce cases (1, maybe 2 per month), and they take on car accident cases, and contract dispute cases, and property cases, and defamation cases, and guardianship cases, and estate planning cases, etc., etc., etc.
They don’t spend all day helping people through divorce, reading divorce cases from the Utah Supreme Court, and improving their systems so their divorce clients get the ideal results they’re looking for.
Pick someone who focuses exclusively on divorce.
- Hiring a personality instead of a system.
Most people look for a divorce attorney they like. When they find an attorney that they like just enough, they hire him or her.
That’s hiring a personality. A personality isn’t necessarily a good divorce attorney.
What you want to look for in a divorce attorney is someone you like bolstered by a system.
A system is a set of standard operating procedures in divorce that help you reach the goals you’re looking for.
Systems are only present when attorneys and their teams work together and lay out plans for different types of cases.
This way, a divorce attorney knows what to do (because they’ve done it before and it’s been successful) and doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel with every divorce.
Systems lead to successful divorces. Personalities are hit-and-miss — at best.
- Not following your gut.
You know that feeling when you’re talking with someone and you know, just know, something’s not quite right.
That’s your gut (or intuition, if you will).
Your gut is a powerful thing. It’ll let you know when something’s off.
I’ve talked with many hundreds of people about their experiences with divorce attorneys.
I can’t tell you how many people hired a divorce attorney when their gut said, “No, don’t do it.”
It almost never works out well from that point on.
Follow your gut.
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