10 Tips On How To Choose A New York City Divorce Attorney

by | Jul 16, 2017 | Divorce

Personal Note

I uprooted my life, quit my job as a Senior Business Leader for Bank of America, walked into New York and started my own incredibly successful Family Law Firm In New York City. It was not easy. If there is one thing I learned from the 11 years of practicing Family Law in New York City is there is nothing like in the world  that compares to New York City. It’s filled with the most diverse group of people, with the most unique set of needs and a unique set of challenges which you will only find here.

10 Tips On How To Choose A New York City Divorce Attorney

By: Mia Poppe

When grappling with a divorce, selecting the right divorce lawyer is crucial in helping you obtain a favorable outcome.

The following are 10 tips to consider when choosing a divorce lawyer.

(1) Decide on your top 2 – 4 desired outcomes and write them down. Before meeting with any lawyer, determine and write down 2-4 desired outcomes desire out of the conclusion of your matrimonial action.

(2) Conduct a basic Internet “Plain English” search on the law regarding each of your outcomes.

A simple Google search can provide you with useful information on key issues to consider during a divorce. Additionally, doing a simple Internet search can give you ideas of topics to discuss while interviewing your potential divorce lawyer.

For example, you can search: “can I have my divorce legal fees paid by my spouse?” or “in a divorce can I keep my house until my kids graduate”.  You likely will not get a direct hit, but you will gain information that will assist you when you begin interviewing lawyers.

(3) Interview multiple lawyers.  Using the information obtained from your online search, and your 2-4 desired outcomes, schedule initial consultations to interview several experienced lawyers. During your consultation with each attorney determine:

(a)   Whether they seem to understand the nuances of your case,

(b)  Whether there is interpersonal chemistry between you and your potential lawyer,

©   Hourly rates / costs associated with your potential divorce action, and

(d)  Whether the attorney has a strong support team.

A word on chemistry: The relationship between a lawyer and client is a very personal and even intimate one.  In the course of a divorce, lawyers will get to know, or should know, a lot about their clients. For these reasons make sure to hire a lawyer, who is firstly qualified and experienced, but also someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing your personal details.

(4) Figure out what you can and cannot afford.  Don’t be shy when it comes to discussing payment terms and amounts.  It is also important to remember that your divorce is not a used car purchase; this is not a good time to bargain shop.

(5) Ask for references and or read online reviews.  When considering hiring a lawyer, make sure to search for client reviews online to

Frequently, former satisfied clients would offer to discuss their experience with potential clients.  While a lawyer cannot disclose client lists, or client information, they can, with express permission, connect potential clients with former clients.

(6) Find a lawyer whose main core practice is matrimonial or family law.  In New York, using a generalist may invite more costs.

(7) Refer often to your 2-4 desired outcomes.  During your interview and during your representation (once you hire a lawyer), refer often to your desired outcomes to make sure that

(8) Take time to think about it.  Retaining a divorce lawyer is a big decision.  After meeting with some potential lawyers, don’t be afraid of taking time to think about your options before making a final decision.

(9) Consider taking a trusted confidant to meet with the attorneys you interview.  Remember, if you bring a third party into your consultation, you are waiving privilege of the discussion held in the presence of that person.  Make sure you are comfortable with this third party before you bring them into your consultation.

(10) Trust your gut.  In addition to a following a thoughtful rational process, it is essential to trust your gut in making the final decision for selecting a lawyer for your divorce.