After coming to the realization that your marriage is no longer working, the next step is finding a family law attorney who can best meet your needs. Unfortunately, many people waste both time and money by not getting set up with the right divorce lawyer from the start.

Recently, the Huffington Post featured an article by a divorce coach who has tips for choosing a divorce lawyer. She said finding the right lawyer to assist you through the divorce process is key. Here are a few of her tips:

Figure out what type of divorce you want. Your divorce doesn’t have to be extremely expensive or adversarial. Instead, you can choose an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation or collaborative law to end your marriage for less money or less heartache.

Next is to find a lawyer who will be able to give you the divorce you want. For example, not all divorce lawyers truly believe in mediation and there are even fewer who are trained in collaborative law.

Meet with prospective attorneys over the phone or in person. Don’t feel rushed to hire an attorney immediately. Instead, do your research to make sure that you hire a lawyer who you work well with and who you can afford. You may also want to ask to meet the secretaries, paralegals or law clerks you may also be working with.

Know what to watch out for. Some characteristics that could predict trouble include a lawyer who: is distracted by other calls and emails during your meeting, is making promises that seem too good to be true, or is bad mouthing other attorneys or judges. Any of these issues should raise a “red flag” that the attorney might not be the best fit.

These are all great tips for choosing the right divorce lawyer right off of the bat. Doing so can mean a faster, less-expensive and less-stressful divorce process for everyone involved.

Source: Huffington Post, “7 Steps To Choosing The Right Divorce Lawyer,” Laura Miolla, Feb. 2, 2014