How to Hire A Divorce Lawyer in Ontario: Complete Checklist

How to Hire A Divorce Lawyer in Ontario: Complete Checklist

When a relationship or marriage comes to an end, you need a lawyer to explain your legal options and provide guidance on all your rights and obligations. There are plenty of aspects that a couple needs to agree on at the end of their marriage. In many cases, the financial aspects of the marriage are the most complex to resolve. An experienced divorce lawyer will help resolve this case by advising, negotiating, and even mediating on your behalf. If need be, the lawyer will represent you in court.

The main purpose of hiring a divorce lawyer is to ensure that your rights are adequately protected throughout the process. You get to resolve matters in a timely and cost-efficient way. While divorces are mentally draining, it’s important to be able to accept the situation and move on with your life happily, even if no longer as a married couple.

Why hire a divorce lawyer?

The thought of dealing with a divorce is usually emotionally overwhelming to the couple. When two lives come together and later decide that they need to part ways, the journey gets complicated. It’s harder to separate from someone when your lives are legally intertwined. In fact, many people will become angry, bitter, and bring out their worst side during a divorce.

The divorce process becomes even more complex as each person often wants what’s in their best interest. One spouse may consider the other unreasonable, which is why a judge or adjudicator needs to get involved. This professional will review both sides of the argument and make a decision. Since the outcome of your divorce case can make or break your future, you need sound legal advice to fight your case. An experienced divorce lawyer will prepare proper arguments and present your rights to influence the judge’s decision in your favour.

However, we understand that there’s a huge misconception around divorce lawyers. Most people shy away from hiring a divorce lawyer because they assume they are only after their money and will do everything, including creating fights among couples just to make their cut. Unfortunately, this has been true in some situations, which is why you need to do your due diligence before hiring a divorce lawyer.

Lawyers like us charge for the services just as anyone else would, however we are passionate about helping you and your family after a divorce. We give all our compassion and effort to each and every divorce case we handle. When you partner with us, you can be assured of working with good people who genuinely care.

How to find a good divorce lawyer

Are you looking for a divorce lawyer who will not take advantage of your vulnerabilities and will instead fight for what’s best for you? Experienced divorce lawyers take the time to communicate your story in a legally sound manner and save you from unnecessary fights that result in wasted time and money.

Here’s what to expect from your divorce lawyer:

  • The lawyer will be ready to discuss your legal rights and options after the separation.
  • The lawyer will take time to fully understand your story and the priorities of the case.
  • He/she should be well versed in divorce law and possess experience in dealing with matters arising during the case.
  • He/she will provide adequate legal support at every stage of your separation and communicate all your rights and wishes effectively.
  • A good divorce lawyer will protect your money instead of wasting it.
  • The lawyer should advise on matters involving child custody, child support, and spousal support.
  • The lawyer should advise on matters involving the division of property or debt.
  • He/she should help navigate prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements.
  • If you need to obtain a restraining order, your lawyer should help you secure one.

Do you need a lawyer in an amicable divorce or separation?

In an amicable divorce, lawyers are still needed to mitigate the problems that may arise in the future. Any agreement that you come up with must be reviewed by a lawyer to avoid any problems afterwards. Even though the mediation can be done and both parties reach an agreement without a lawyer, having a legal professional review any agreement that you come up with can help save you from any oversights that may cost you in the upcoming years.

There are cases where a spouse decides that the agreement was not fair and changes their mind. If there was no proper agreement in place and a lawyer wasn’t consulted, this may cause serious problems. Divorce lawyers have seen many scenarios and know what to look out for to prevent future issues after an amicable divorce.

10 things to consider when hiring a divorce lawyer

The process of finding the right divorce lawyer to handle your case can seem overwhelming. You need to find someone you can trust to represent you. If you don’t trust your lawyer, it can be difficult to be 100% honest with them, which may affect your entire case. You need to be confident that the legal professional you choose to work with will be there for you throughout the case.

We recommend that you take your time when looking for a divorce lawyer. There’s nothing worse than choosing the wrong person and then having to look for an alternative when you’re already dealing with too much during the divorce process. Let’s go over some 10 steps to help you find an experienced divorce lawyer.

  1. Do your research: Understand the divorce process and how the lawyer will come in. Know what to expect from the legal professional before you hire them.
  2. Look for reviews: Identify solid reviews from reputable sources. Don’t be quick to fall into false promises from lawyers with no experience handling divorce cases.
  3. Get recommendations: Family and friends may have someone to recommend. Be sure not to ask them for any legal advice. Only lawyers can provide advice on your divorce case.
  4. Review family law websites: As part of doing your due diligence, visit several websites of potential divorce lawyers you’ve come across or those who you’ve been recommended to.
  5. Work with a team: Consider hiring lawyers who work as a team for just one case. You’re likely to get the best solution when several experienced hands are on your case.
  6. Meet the potential lawyers: Set up a meeting with the divorce lawyers to get a one-on-one consultation. The lawyer should give you advice on your case and not a sales pitch.
  7. What’s your take after the one-on-one consultation? Does it match what they seem to display on their website? If you’re having doubts, ask them for clarification or move on to the next one.
  8. Ask about fees: Ensure that the lawyer you choose provides clarity on the fees you’ll be required to pay and how long the process will take.
  9. Can you assist: Ask the lawyer if there are things that you may assist with to reduce your costs. However, you should aim at having everything professionally done to increase the chances of getting the best outcome.
  10. Trust your instincts: If you have doubts regarding the law firm or lawyer, question it.

Preparing to meet your divorce lawyer

The first meeting with your divorce lawyer can be full of tension. Preparing yourself in advance helps to ease this process. You need to be prepared to provide the lawyer with adequate information that he/she will need when representing you.

Here are some of the questions your divorce lawyer is likely to ask:

  • Are there any children involved?
  • Is there any physical or emotional abuse involved?
  • How much do you make?
  • How much does your spouse make?
  • What assets do you own? What did you own before meeting your spouse and after?
  • Are there any debts that you need to be shared?
  • Were there any affairs involved?

This information cannot be disclosed to anyone without your consent. The lawyer is not here to judge you in any way. Whatever you share with the legal professional is confidential. By providing honest answers, your lawyer will know what you are entitled to and properly prepare your case. An experienced divorce lawyer should be able to put you at ease and offer professional representation.