If you are based in Buffalo, NY, and wondering how to find the best divorce attorney for your case.
Worry not. In this article, you can find the tips and resources to help you hire the best divorce attorney.
Additionally, the article also explores further details such as the costs of hiring the best divorce attorney and what to expect from a divorce attorney.
Why do I need a divorce attorney?
Divorce is a complex and stressful process that involves many legal issues, such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support.
You need a divorce attorney who can protect your rights and interests, guide you through the legal system, and help you achieve a favorable outcome.
In addition, since a divorce process is emotionally draining, hiring a divorce attorney can help you navigate
However, finding the best divorce attorney in Buffalo, NY is not an easy task.
There are many factors to consider, such as experience, reputation, fees, communication, and compatibility.
What to Look for in a Divorce Attorney in Buffalo, New York
When looking for a divorce attorney in Buffalo, New York, you should look for the following qualities:
Before engaging an attorney, it is important to know whether they are licensed to practice law in a specific jurisdiction.
The process of licensing involves three steps:
- Graduation from an accredited law school
- obtaining a passing on the state bar examination
- Meeting all character and fitness criteria that is established by the state administrative board
In this case, one should enquire from their attorney or research if the attorney is licensed to practice law.
Therefore, since Buffalo is in the state of New York, one should enquire if the divorce attorney whom they wish to hire is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
The purpose of this step is to avoid incidents of fraud. Whereby you can possibly engage someone who is masquerading as a divorce attorney.
When choosing a divorce attorney to handle your case you should also look at their expertise and experience.
Whereas this article does not mean to discriminate against newly admitted attorneys, experience is a matter of years in practice.
Attorneys who have handled divorce matters for longer periods are generally more experienced than those who have practiced for a shorter time.
An experienced divorce attorney will be much more familiar with the local laws, court procedures, and judges.
They can hence help one navigate the legal process more efficiently and effectively.
Expertise with regards to experience concerns a divorce attorney who has experience in handling cases similar to yours. For example, a divorce attorney can have expertise in handling matters such as contested or uncontested divorce, high-asset or low-asset divorce, same-sex or opposite-sex divorce, etc.
To gauge the reputation of attorneys, it is important to use several metrics.
One of the best ways to know that the attorney handling your case has a good reputation is to ascertain if they have been rated by Martindale-Hubbell®.
The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system utilized an “A – B – C” scale to estimate the legal ability and ethical standards of an attorney.
The best attorneys will usually have one of the following ratings
- AV Preeminent®: This is the highest peer rating standard given to attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.
- Distinguished: An excellent rating is given to an attorney who has some experience and is widely respected by their peers for their professional achievement and ethical standards.
- Notable: This rating is given to a lawyer who has been recognized by a large number of their peers for their strong ethical standards
Not all attorneys qualify for such ratings therefore, it is important to look at other sources such as online reviews, ratings, testimonials, awards, publications, and memberships.
Web sites such as AVVO may be useful when looking for reviews.
Another way to gauge the reputation of your divorce attorney is to ask for referrals from friends, family members, or other professionals who have gone through a divorce in Buffalo, New York.
The affordability of the divorce attorney that you want to hire does not gauge their level of competency.
A common myth in place is that expensive attorneys are more competent than their cheaper counterparts.
However, this notion is not true.
A lot of factors determine the affordability of attorneys.
For example, the location of an attorney is one of the determinants of the legal fees that they impose. Hiring a divorce attorney in Manhattan is definitely more expensive than hiring one in Buffalo.
The average cost of a divorce attorney in Buffalo, New York ranges from $325 to $600 per hour.
It is important to also note what type of billing structure an attorney uses. Some attorneys may charge Flat Fees or hourly rates.
All in all, people prefer divorce attorneys who charge reasonable and transparent fees for their services.
Thus, it is important to ask for a written fee agreement that explains how the fees are calculated, what services are included and excluded, and how payments are made.
When hiring an attorney, client reviews should help you gauge certain aspects.
It is important to choose an attorney with good and prompt communication.
Lack of communication from an attorney can cause one to have anxiety and stress about their case outcome.
Hence it is important for one to look for a divorce attorney who is responsive to their calls, emails, texts, or other forms of communication.
One should also look for a divorce attorney who listens to their concerns, answers their questions, and explains possible options available.
Choosing a divorce attorney who is compatible with one’s values is important
Compatibility ensures that there is a boundary on a personal and professional level.
It is important to look for a divorce attorney who respects your goals, values, preferences, and opinions.
When choosing an attorney, it is important to look for one who is trustworthy, respectful, compassionate, and supportive.
How to Find a Divorce Attorney in Buffalo, NY
There are several ways to find a divorce attorney in Buffalo, New York. Some of the most common methods are:
Search engines such as Bing or Google are helpful to find divorce attorneys in Buffalo, New York.
Online directories such as Justia, Super Lawyers, Avvo, Expertise, or ConsumerAffairs are also helpful (for finding and comparing divorce attorneys in Buffalo, New York based on their profiles, reviews, ratings, services, fees, and more.)
You can ask for referrals from people you know who have gone through a divorce in Buffalo, NY.
Such people can share their experiences and opinions about their divorce attorneys and recommend the ones they have been satisfied with.
However, you should keep in mind that every divorce case is different and what worked for someone else may not work for you. Therefore, you should do your own research and evaluation before hiring a referral.
It is possible to schedule a consultation with a potential divorce attorney in Buffalo, New York.
The good thing is that some attorneys offer initial consultation at no cost.
Consultations allow one to get a sense of the attorney’s personality, style, approach, and compatibility.
During the consultations, the following are some of the possible questions you can use:
- How long have you been practicing family law in New York?
- How many divorce cases have you handled? How many were similar to mine?
- What is your success rate or track record in resolving divorce cases?
- How do you communicate with your clients?
- How often do you update them on their case?
- How do you charge for your services? What are your fees and expenses?
- What are the possible outcomes of my case?
- What are the risks and benefits of each option?
- How long will it take to complete my case? What are the steps involved?
- How do you handle conflicts or disputes with the other party or their attorney?
- Who else will be working on my case? What are their qualifications and roles?
- How do you handle confidentiality and privacy issues?
- Do you have any references or testimonials from former clients?
You should compare the answers and impressions you get from each consultation and choose the divorce attorney who meets your criteria and expectations.
Finding the best divorce attorney in Buffalo, New York can be a challenging and overwhelming process.
However, by following the tips and resources we provided in this article, you can make an informed and confident decision.
Remember, the divorce attorney you choose can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case and the quality of your life after divorce.
Therefore, you should take your time and do your homework before hiring a divorce attorney in Buffalo, New York.