How much you pay your divorce lawyer depends on his expertise, experience and seniority. If the old saying “you get what you pay for” is true, then it should be no surprise why some lawyers are more expensive than others.
Here are 6 points to determine whether your lawyer’s hourly rate is reasonable.
Is your lawyer a specialist in family law ? Many lawyer associations certify specialists in particular areas of law. In Ontario, the Law Society of Ontario vets, screens and certifies divorce lawyers based on their expertise, experience and record. In Toronto, there are only 32 certified divorce specialists. These lawyers have met the rigorous requirements needed to be ranked as a specialist in family law.
Does your lawyer have courtroom experience ? Every lawyer’s track record is searchable online by visiting www.canlii.org and doing a keyword search for that lawyer. This database will demonstrate the lawyer’s courtroom experience.
What are people saying about this divorce lawyer ? These days, online reviews are extremely important. Although not everything posted online is true, it does give an indication of the lawyer’s reputation. Google, Yelp and Lawyeratingz are places to find reviews.
Does your lawyer practice family law in your local community ? This is really important because the lawyer’s familiarity and proximity to the courthouse is absolutely critical in ensuring his or her ability to know the local judges and the legal system that affects your case.
Is the lawyer’s fee clear and obvious ? It is critical that you examine the retainer agreement for a listing of the hourly rates of each member of the lawyer’s team and understand which team member charges for which service so as to achieve the lowest possible cost to you.
How does your lawyer make you feel ? Despite the lawyer’s expertise, experience and familiarity with divorce law, in the end, you must feel comfortable with, and trust, the person that you have hired. Only you can have this gut feeling.Share this article on: