How to Find the Best Collaborative Divorce Lawyer in North Carolina

While there are many ways to approach a divorce, collaborative law is proving to be one of the most popular strategies for spouses in North Carolina. While this approach certainly has its fair share of benefits, you will still need to work with a qualified collaborative divorce lawyer in North Carolina if you want to achieve strong results. Regardless of how you approach your divorce, you cannot do it alone. Although collaborative divorces are indeed carried out behind closed doors and without going to court, a legal professional is still required to make this process as productive as possible. 

How do you find a qualified attorney who has experience with collaborative divorce? This is often one of the biggest challenges for divorcing spouses in North Carolina. After all, most divorcing spouses are not legal experts, and they have yet to learn what to look for in prospective attorneys. The quality of your attorney can be the difference between a favorable separation agreement that satisfies all parties, and a wholly failed collaborative divorce process that forces you to go to trial. So, how can you find a reliable attorney in North Carolina who can help you?

Consider Their Qualifications

When considering attorneys, you should consider their qualifications. Licenses and legal education programs exist for a reason, and they ensure that the public can assess whether or not confident attorneys are dependable. A Juris Doctor degree is obviously a good start, but you should also consider where that degree was earned. Certain law schools may have a better reputation than others. That being said, despite their importance, Ivy League schools do not always produce better lawyers. 

In addition, there are specialized training programs and qualifications that specifically involve collaborative divorce. Many of the best collaborative law attorneys take these training courses after obtaining their degrees to give them technical knowledge. 

Finally, experience is essential. A lawyer can graduate from the best law school in the world, but they will never truly learn the ins and outs of the legal system until they spend years practicing law. Attorneys with many years of experience can draw upon past experience and lessons to help you avoid common mistakes. 

Consider the Unique Elements of Collaborative Divorce

When assessing prospective lawyers, you should also consider the unique elements of collaborative divorce. This approach is considerably different compared to a trial-based, litigated divorce. As a result, you will need to choose a lawyer with a specific skill set. For example, communication skills are important during a collaborative divorce. Negotiation strategies also come in handy. "Soft skills" like emotional intelligence can be tremendous assets in a collaborative divorce since the general philosophy behind this approach is much more "human." 

Consider Your Priorities

It would be best if you considered your priorities when choosing a collaborative divorce attorney. Each divorce is different, and some spouses may have drastically different concerns compared to others. For example, you might not have children, so it might not be a good idea to work with an attorney who specializes in child support and child custody. Or perhaps you are dealing with just a few assets during the property division process. If this is the case, you might want to work with someone other than an attorney who primarily deals with high-net-worth spouses. 

Trust Your Instincts

Sometimes, you do not honestly know whether an attorney is the right choice until you meet with them. Fortunately, many attorneys allow you to schedule initial consultations, and this will enable you to get a sense of their personalities and their general philosophy toward collaborative divorce. Remember, you will likely be spending months working closely with your attorney. It is vital to choose someone you feel you can develop a working relationship with. You and your lawyer should also have a certain level of trust. Ultimately, it is always a good idea to go with your instincts, trust your gut, and choose an attorney you trust.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified attorney who has experience with collaborative law, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses get through the collaborative law process confidently and efficiently. During our first consultation, we can discuss the specific elements of your divorce, and you can get a better sense of how we approach the divorce process. Although choosing a suitable attorney for a collaborative divorce can be challenging, sometimes it is best to simply go with your instincts. Book your consultation today, and we can help you take your first steps toward a successful collaborative divorce.