How Do I Find a Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
Finding a Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
After the initial shock of a divorce was passed, most people ask how do I find a good divorce attorney in Arizona. In all professions, there are good and bad divorce attorneys in Arizona. To understand how to make sure you choose a good divorce attorney, we must answer the important question of what makes a good attorney and, by comparison, what makes a bad attorney. You will then have actionable advice to put to work for you when you are interviewing attorneys to handle your case. So, enough said, let’s dive into the details.
The comments I make on this page are my own personal opinion based on my over twenty years of family law and divorce litigation experience in Arizona. I feel strongly that I have been able to distinguish the right way, and hence the best way, to handle divorce cases and what happens when a lawyer uses other techniques a good divorce attorney would never use.
I also take into consideration the effect an attorney’s actions can have upon the emotional well-being of his or her client and their children, as well as the time and the significant divorce expenses, can cause. In the end, however, you have to rely solely on your own assessment of what makes a good divorce attorney in Arizona.
What Attributes Make a Lawyer a Bad Divorce Attorney in Arizona
There are certain attributes that I would say are universally bad, while there are others that may or not be an indicating of a bad divorce attorney in Arizona. I will distinguish each of those points as I go through the following list of attributes that are/may be an indication an attorney may not be the right fit for you and which, correspondingly, may create a red-hot emotional mess of your divorce case and a significant financial cost to you as well.
Signs of a Bad Divorce Attorney: Aggressive Junkyard Dogs
About fifteen years ago, I had a potential client call me. He said he wanted a junkyard dog attorney who would destroy his wife emotionally and financially. He assured me he had more than enough money to pay me to completely destroy his wife and he would rather give it all to me than have to split it with his wife. A divorce lawyers dream, right? Absolutely not! What happened next surprised even me.
I told this gentleman that I am not what he was looking for and asked for his permission to explain myself to him. When I explained why that strategy would end up destroying himself, not his wife, he laughed. I was obviously a little confused until this person said something to the effect of “Chris, I have spoken to about a dozen divorce lawyers and you are the only one to refuse my offer.”
You are hired”. So here is the takeaway, this person did not want a junkyard dog to destroy his wife but, instead, wanted to hire an attorney who was a good attorney. Once that was not a junkyard dog. We were incredibly successful in his case and he is now one of my best friends to this day.
I consider all so-called junkyard aggressive dogs to universally be bad divorce attorneys. Their clients typically lose their cases because judges hate divorce attorneys who exhibit this personality. Judges have seen thousands of cases and they know who those lawyers are who are unreasonable, aggressive and abusive. I would speculate that they do not lend too much if any, credibility to these attorneys.
Signs of a Bad Attorney: Lack of Experience
Some attorneys that lack experience may be bad divorce attorneys. I was very careful to say “some” inexperienced divorce attorneys “may” be a bad divorce attorney for your case. Before I clarify that last point, let me talk about the two aspects of “experience” I am referring too. One aspect may be a lack of experience in building, settling, and litigating a case. Not understanding how to persuasively present your case and ensure all of the evidence is collected and presented in a convincing manner can hurt your case.
The other aspect of “experience” I am referring to is the attorneys understanding of all of the applicable Arizona divorce laws. Yes, I said it. Some attorneys do not know all of the various statutes and, more importantly, the hundreds of Arizona Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases in Arizona.
I have represented clients against lawyers who had such a poor understanding of the laws that applied to the case that it, unfortunately, forced my client into a final divorce trial; albeit, we prevailed on every issue BECAUSE we were correct on our understanding of the law that applied to the case. The facts were not, largely, in dispute. It was the law that won the case.
Now I want to circle back to how I started in this section, lack of experience. I can point out several young divorce attorneys with much less experience than a lawyer with a ton of experience and would pick the younger Arizona divorce attorney every time. Why does that make sense?
Because there are young attorneys who have invested time learning all the Arizona laws and perfecting their trial skills. There are also a lot of lawyers that have practiced many years who never took the time to learn the laws and just fumble through their cases.
So, how do you evaluate an attorney for his or her experience? Any attorney who can rattle off solutions to your problem while at the same time citing you to the statutes and court of appeals cases that support your position is likely an experienced divorce attorney. Anyone who cannot is likely not a good divorce attorney for your Arizona divorce case.
Conclusion on How You Find a Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
So, how do you find a good divorce attorney in Arizona? Simple, don’t hire a bad one. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience. I have personally written articles on almost every Arizona Court of Appeals and Arizona Supreme Court decision issued on family law issues.
We know how to build a case and secure a positive outcome on your case and thoroughly educate you on the laws that apply to your case and what the likely outcome of your case should be. As important, we know how to deal with an aggressive divorce lawyer if your spouse hires one.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about how to find a good divorce attorney in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about divorce attorneys in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.