Going through a divorce is never easy, but you can make the journey an easier one with a good divorce lawyer who can handle all kinds of surprises for you. The process of finding a suitable divorce lawyer does not have to be a pain. It is a process that can be simplified into a series of steps.
Step 1 – Educate yourself on The Divorce Process
Before you spring in action, educate yourself on the divorce process. Knowledge is power, and if you know how the divorce process works, you will be in a better position to assess if the lawyer whom you are speaking to is an experienced family lawyer.
Step 2 – Finding the Right Divorce Lawyers
There are more lawyers in Singapore than you imagine, with many of them working out of tiny firms which you may not have heard of. There are various methods which you can go about looking for lawyers, with the following being most popular:
Ask your network for contacts of good lawyers. There is always a high chance that you could find a good and experienced lawyer through your network. It also makes sense because it is more comforting to know that someone you know had a good experience with this lawyer previously. Nonetheless, it is wise to shortlist more than one lawyer as you might not gel with the lawyer recommended for some reasons. The recommended lawyer might also quote you a higher fee since you come recommended.
Other the word of mouth method, you can search for a lawyer online. There are many advertisements online which showcase the qualities of one lawyer or the other. In this method, you must be careful to search for only experienced lawyers with many good reviews or feedbacks. Take your time to go through the throng of information online and see if you can resonate with any of them. If you find one whom you think is able to empathise with you, shortlist he or she for later reviews.
In Singapore, the Legal Service Regulatory Authority of Singapore keeps an updated list of all practising lawyers and law firms in Singapore. You can go through this list to find an experienced lawyer whom you feel comfortable with.
Step 3 – Choosing Your Divorce Lawyer
After you have shortlisted the lawyers whom you think are suitable, it is time for you to contact them. You can choose to email, call or make an appointment to meet up with them. Most lawyers are open to have a short 20 minutes free consultation to explain the divorce procedures and give you some realistic advice in order to put you in a better position.
At this point, you should verify the number of years of practising experience the lawyer has in Family Law. Do bear in mind that the longer the lawyer practises, the more knowledge he or she will be.
Take note of the communication between yourself and the lawyer. Are you comfortable with him or her? Do you feel secure when you speak about your personal experiences in your marriage? If you are comfortable with your lawyer, it is likely that he or she will be the one. Do remember that as your representing lawyer, he or she will need to know everything about you and your family. If you are not comfortable with the lawyer, move on to the next one.
Different lawyers have different rates, since law is a personalised service that is dependent on the lawyer and the case on hand. You should budget at least $1500 for legal fees for the simplest divorce. Be careful of the lower fees that are being advertised online as it might mean that there are certain fees which are not factored in (eg, court filing fees). What is important here is that the lawyer must be transparent with all the cost involved for each stage of the divorce. It is difficult to estimate the cost for a contentious divorce, but the lawyer should be able to give you a scale of rates, and possibly a fee cap as well. If you need to pay by instalment, you should let the lawyer know when you first meet him or her for the initial discussion.
In big firms, it is possible that the lawyer you spoke to might not be the lawyer representing your case. Be sure to establish your actual lawyer early on and get a chance to speak with him or her. In smaller firms, it is likely that the lawyer you speak with will be the lawyer who represents you. Therefore, check before you decide.
Lastly, it is important to find a link between you and your lawyer. You have to gel with the lawyer before you can entrust your divorce case to him or her. Some people prefers a female lawyer, others a male one. No matter your preferences, it is a personal choice and your link to the lawyer matters most. As long as you can be comfortable with your lawyer, you should do relatively well.
The above steps should help you establish the basic of looking for a good divorced lawyer in Singapore. If you are still unsure, be sure to check out forums and link up with people going through similar situations to find out more.