How to Find the Best Divorce Attorney | Voted “Best of the Valley”
What You Need to Know About Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Many people searching for Arizona divorce attorneys are unsure what questions they should ask and what information they should be looking for to hire the best Arizona divorce attorney for their case. This is understandable as most people experience hiring an attorney for the first time because of a divorce. The rate of divorce in Arizona is 3.4%, which is slightly higher than the average national rate of divorce of 3.2% according to the CDC. Our founder, Chris Hildebrand, wanted to ensure you have the information you need to find the right divorce attorney for you.
There are many things you should be considering when hiring an attorney for your divorce. We are going to provide you with a step by step guide on how to evaluate attorneys in Arizona to ensure you hire the best attorney for your family law case. Specifically, we are going to show you what to look for from your first call to a family law firm all the way through your consultation with an attorney.
What to Look for During Your First Phone Call
Divorce is a frustrating process by nature. It is imperative your case is not made more difficult because of a lack of communication with your attorney. Your first telephone call to a divorce law firm is your first insight into how you will be treated if you hire that law firm. So, you want to evaluate how you are treated when you call an attorney’s office.
Were you placed on hold for a long time? Were you told someone would need to call you back? These are signs the law firm you are calling has not made communicating with clients a priority. It could also mean the lawyer lacks sufficient support staff to handle something as easy as speaking to you about your case.
The reality is there are a lot of family law attorneys in Arizona but there are very few attorneys in Arizona that actually operate their law practice as a successful business. Few of the attorneys whom we come across know much about how to actually operate a successful law practice. They are almost always understaffed, overworked, and unable to give any case the attention it deserves.
This leads to mistakes, sloppy work, and dissatisfied clients. You should treat your first phone call as the best experience you may expect from that law firm. Great law firms and divorce attorneys know that the quest for being the best divorce attorney never ends. Stated differently, the best divorce attorneys never stop searching for ways to be better.
You also want to evaluate whether the person speaking to you is asking intelligent questions about your case. Good attorneys and their staff are not only very interested in learning about the details of your case, but they are also evaluating whether they believe they will a good fit for your case. The best attorneys have plenty of business to keep them busy. That steady flow of clients eager to hire them provides them with the ability to decline to take cases they believe are going to end with a bad result.
They understand that not everyone who hires a lawyer does so with the intention of being reasonable. Bad attorneys, on the other hand, are constantly looking to bring on new clients and, likewise, do not care if you have a good case or a bad case. They just want more clients and, therefore, are less likely to ask you many questions and they will simply agree to everything you want in the divorce. This may make you feel good, but that feeling will quickly fade after you hire that attorney.
Law Office Appearance and Staff
As with any organization, the structure of the law firm’s operations is an often overlooked consideration when hiring an attorney. This is unfortunate because you can often, but not always, tell whether you are dealing with a good family law lawyer by the structure of their office.
It should be intuitive that a good attorney generates enough clients to afford the ability to hire and retain high-quality support staff whereas a bad attorney does not. You should ask the attorney you are interviewing about the support staff he or she has to ensure the efficient management of your case.
A good divorce law firm will have, in addition to attorneys, an office manager, paralegals, and legal assistants. All of these people are necessary for the orderly management of the tasks that need to be completed in your case. They also bill at a much lower hourly rate than the attorney handling your case, so you can expect some cost savings as well. Fewer costs and more support for the handling of your case is a great indication you have found a good attorney to handle your family law case.
Experience Makes a Huge Difference
A diligent attorney is well versed in divorce laws, the process of divorce, and, most importantly, understand the correct strategies to implement in your divorce. If you want to trip up an inexperienced attorney, start asking them to explain the law that applies to the divorce, to the child custody issues, to the alimony issues etc.
If you hear a generalized answer to your questions, run . . . as fast as you can. An experienced attorney, on the other hand, will be able to cite the statutes and appellate decisions that apply to your case will explain how they apply to your case and will share some strategies to protect your interests.
The best attorneys spend endless hours reading all of the newest (and oldest) cases from the court of appeals in Arizona to ensure they have an arsenal of information on how a court is to address certain issues in a divorce case. We use that information to create effective strategies to win cases for our clients and to steer clients away from a disaster from taking the wrong strategy in a case. A bad attorney will simply nod their head in agreement with everything you say you want. An experienced attorney, on the other hand, will tell you what you can realistically achieve in your divorce and, as importantly, will sometimes tell you what you may not want to hear.
The Difference Our Arizona Divorce Lawyers Make
The attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC focus on divorce and family law cases. That focus allows our Phoenix Arizona and Scottsdale Arizona divorce lawyers to get our clients the best outcomes in their divorce cases. When your marriage is coming to an end and you need to dissolve your marriage, you need a dedicated group of professionals protecting you.
Whether you are meeting with our attorneys at our Phoenix Arizona office location or our at our Scottsdale Arizona office location, you will be reassured you have found the right law firm to represent you.
Our law firm has received multiple awards including being voted “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills magazine subscribers, U.S. News and World Reports best divorce attorneys, Phoenix Magazine Top divorce law firms, North Valley Magazine Top Divorce lawyers, Preeminent Divorce attorney from Martindale-Hubbell, Top 10 Divorce Attorneys from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys and many others. Our founder, Chris Hildebrand, has been a featured source for family law news in numerous articles including the Huffington Post, Attorney at Law magazine and Fatherly. The bottom line is we take divorce and family law seriously.
Exceptional Divorce Services
Our group uses a very organized and comprehensive approach for all of our clients’ cases. So, how are we different than other law firms? The answer is simple. Our attorneys have a caseload of about half of other Arizona family law attorneys. Our founder, Chris Hildebrand, believes that overloading a lawyer with 50 cases or more doesn’t allow them to concentrate on their clients’ cases long enough to master those cases. However, if our lawyers had their caseloads cut in half, every attorney at the firm would have more time to move faster and more thoroughly on our cases than other law firms. That is the Hildebrand Law difference!
“Our Clients’ Victories Form the Foundation Of Our Success.”
Christopher S. Hildebrand | Founder of Hildebrand Law, PC
A Better Approach to Divorce in Arizona
This doesn’t mean our lawyers are not busy. Our team of divorce professionals is as busy as any other family law firm in town. They just spend that time mastering every client’s case. That means more one-on-one time with each and every one of our clients. We spend that time going through not only the major points in a case but the smaller details other lawyers otherwise miss. Other attorneys miss those important details because they are too busy moving onto the next case on their list. Our detailed approach and attention to the large and small details of our clients’ lives provide winning results.
We have a very detailed procedure that is followed in every case. This approach puts you and your case in front of the line. You won’t have to wait to get your questions answered. You will understand the detailed case strategy we will use in your case from the very beginning of your family law matter. You will also be directly involved in creating that strategy with the guidance and advice from our team of divorce professionals. And just to make sure nothing goes wrong our founder, Chris Hildebrand, oversees the case strategy of all Hildebrand Law, PC clients. Chris oversees every case to ensure your case is headed in the right direction.
We represent clients in divorce, divorce mediation, legal separation, child custody, paternity cases, child support, spousal maintenance, the division of community property, business valuation in a divorce, child abuse cases, orders of protection, injunctions to prohibit harassment, high asset divorce, and high net worth divorces.
We have written extensively on all aspects of divorce and family law on our website, so feel free to read the articles in our family law blog to learn everything you would want to know and more about family law in Arizona. In fact, we have written so much about the various Arizona Court of Appeals decisions that other attorneys in Arizona contact us for advice on case law they can use in their own cases.
What Does an Arizona Divorce Attorney Cost
The amount you will pay your attorney for a divorce can vary wildly. There are some factors that play a larger role on what you may expect to pay our your lawyer. One factor is whether you and your spouse are reasonable and cooperative with each other and your attorneys. Another factor is how reasonable and cooperative your lawyers are to each other. The more reasonable and cooperative everyone is the less your divorce will cost. Another factor that directly affects how much you pay to get divorced is how complicated the issues are in your case. The more complicated your divorce, the more it will cost.
At Hildebrand Law, PC a divorce can cost as little as $2,500.00 for an uncontested divorce to upwards of five to six figures in the most complicated and highly contentious cases. We strive to provide you with a reasonable expectation of what you will pay to get a divorce in Arizona, but that estimate relies upon the case proceeding exactly as we wanted for you. If the case takes a turn, your estimated attorney fees will change with it. Unfortunately, you cannot deduct your attorney fees on your state and federal income tax returns. If you own a business, you may be able to deduct your attorney fees incurred in dividing the value of that business in your case.
Know Your Options in Your Divorce
When you are facing the dissolution of your marriage, you have a lot of options. First, you need to decide who to hire to represent you in your divorce. You should also evaluate the law firm where that attorney works to determine if their values align with what you are trying to accomplish. Finding a good attorney for your case is one of the most important decisions you will make.
Next, determine what your options are to settle your case. There are many ways to settle a divorce in Arizona, including setting up an informal settlement conference, setting a more formal offer of settlement in writing, participating in private mediation with a trained mediator, or asking the judge to assign a mediator to your case. Talk to your lawyer about which option is best for you.
If the case is going to trial, find out all of the options you have to build the best case possible. You may need to decide if expert witnesses should be used and legal methods your lawyer can use to obtain all of the evidence needed to present to your judge. Once you understand the costs that will be incurred with each option, you can then choose which options are right for you.
Call us at (480)305-8300 to schedule your personalized consultation with one of our experienced attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC.
Arizona Divorce Lawyer
Chris Hildebrand has practiced divorce and family law in Arizona for more than twenty years. Chris is regularly consulted by other divorce attorneys regarding the interpretation and application of divorce laws in their cases…
Arizona Divorce Attorney
Clarissa has over sixteen years of experience as a litigation attorney. She started her legal career in Arizona in 2000 practicing in the area of commercial litigation with a large Arizona law firm…
Family Law Attorney
Kip Micuda has been practicing divorce and estate planning in Arizona for over twenty years. Kip has been regularly called upon to participate in numerous law-related committees to …
Family Law Attorney
Michael joined Hildebrand Law, PC after leaving a large Phoenix law firm seeking to associate with a more boutique law firm at Hildebrand Law, PC. Michael. Michael has been representing clients in divorce and …
Arizona Family Law Attorney
Kent joined the Firm at the beginning of 2017 and practices in the areas of divorce and family law. Kent brings his many years of experience as a prior business analyst and as a litigation attorney…
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Our main office is located in Scottsdale Arizona.
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