EP 166: 5 Types of Divorce Attorneys to Avoid (If You Can!)

In this episode, we’ll discuss different types of divorce attorneys. Divorce financial analysts often work with a wide range of attorneys. They all have different styles. Many attorneys are excellent. In some cases, you may encounter an attorney that is not so good.

The goal of the divorce attorney or family law attorney is to have the best possible outcome in your divorce. What that outcome looks like will depend on your situation, but you want an attorney who will put you in the best position possible, whether it’s in terms of assets, support or child custody.

A bad attorney will hurt your chances of getting anywhere near what you deserve.

The attorney will be the most important person on your divorce team, other than you. They have the biggest effect on how smoothly your divorce goes. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but here are five types of attorneys you may want to avoid.

  1. The most expensive attorney.
  2. The “therapist” attorney (also known as the “best friend” attorney).
  3. The pit bull attorney.
  4. The too-cool-for-you attorney.
  5. The inexperienced attorney.

This is the attorney that likes to have a lot of billable hours, which can add up over time. These attorneys have the nicest offices, cars and clothes. Their staff is often picture-perfect, and they have an air of exclusivity. These attorneys aren’t bad attorneys. They are just expensive.

This attorney spends a lot of time discussing how you feel, and not enough time working on your case. An actual therapist is a great person to discuss your feelings with, but your attorney should be there to guide you through the legal process of your divorce. You could be paying $400 an hour or more for your attorney’s time, rather than a therapist for $120 an hour (with better results).

This attorney is extremely aggressive. They want you to fight on ever issue in the divorce, under the cover of being “tough.” That approach can be counter-productive. In episode 152, we discussed why you don’t want the most aggressive divorce attorney. In short, the aggressive attorney ultimately causes more harm than good. Aggressive does not equal effective.

This attorney probably seems like a good choice on the initial meeting. Then, after you pay your retainer, they disappear. They don’t return your emails or phone calls. It seems like your case is just not that important to them. This is surprisingly common, and it can be very frustrating.

Your attorney should have experience practicing family law. If an attorney has experience in another area, that does not mean their skills will translate well. Family law has its own set of rules, regulations and guidelines. You should ask how much of their practice is dedicated to family law, how long they have been practicing family law, and how many cases they deal with per year. You should ask similar questions if you interview a divorce financial analyst.

If you find that you have a sub-optimal attorney, it does not necessarily mean it will be the end of the world. You can still get a good resolution to your case. Just be aware that if you have a bad relationship with your attorney now, the relationship will probably not magically get better. You will find yourself complaining about these same things months (or even years) down the line.

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