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Your divorce is likely to be one of the major events of your life. Your financial and parental future means enough that you cannot just choose a San Mateo divorce attorney at random. Your choice can mean the difference between a smooth and relatively quick divorce and one that is long and difficult and leaves you in a poor position for the future.

When shopping for a divorce lawyer, here are some things to looks for:

  • They have a lot of experience working on cases similar to yours. For example, if you and your spouse are high-income professionals, your attorney should regularly handle a lot of complex property division cases.
  • They are a skilled negotiator. Most divorces settle out of court. But a poor negotiator will likely leave you a settlement that leaves you struggling.
  • They keep themselves separate from the emotions. Their job is not to encourage you to drag out the divorce process to “win” or get “revenge” on your ex. In many cases, it is to be the voice of reason to help you see if a settlement offer is reasonable.
  • They are upfront with you. They will give you non-evasive answers when you ask about how much your divorce will cost and how strong your case is regarding things like child custody.
  • Their personality is compatible with yours. You and your attorney will be working closely together for the next several months. They should be someone you get along with well and makes you feel comfortable discussing personal matters with.

Finally, even if you and your spouse are still on good terms, each of you needs your own lawyer. It is a conflict of interest for an attorney to represent both sides in a divorce.