Take Control Blog

Referral Roulette

I’m sure many of you can relate to this. You’re in need of a service, say for some general repair work around the house. Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is to ask a friend or someone you trust with such matters. Everyone responds with their opinion on the best handyman they have ever worked with.

So, you pick two or three of the referrals and speak with them on the phone, maybe even interviewing them in person. They all seem good enough and the prices are more or less the same. With no desire to make a project out of this and to move quickly, you select one of the handymen and agree on a final price and start date. You can’t wait to get started in order to resolve all your house issues and be at peace.

And then the first problem; the handyman does not show-up on the agreed upon start date. You think to yourself, it could happen to anyone. Still, you negotiate another date and the work begins. Fast forward six months, the work cost more than you imagined and the quality was far from what you expected.

In this story, I could have easily replaced the handyman with a family law attorney. This is exactly the same way many people pick an attorney for their divorce. Believe me, I see and hear the countless horror stories daily.

This is how it goes. Someone needs a divorce attorney; they turn to friends and acquaintances for referrals. In many cases, some of the people they ask are not even divorced, but still they provide a referral. With referrals in hand, the person does little in terms of vetting the attorneys; most of the time hiring the first one they call. In turn, he or she hires an attorney who believes in winning at all cost. Or, they pick an attorney based on a referral from a wealthy friend who said, “She was the very best—did a great job for me and was well worth the price.”

What do you think can happen? Exactly, the divorce may end up being very adversarial and cost more than ever imagined. Hiring any divorce professional, attorney or otherwise, should be based on unique factors to you, among these being your personality and budget; as well as, the credentials of the professional as they relate to your specific case.

Also, keep in mind that if you retain an attorney, he or she will suggest other professionals they work closely with. Just as with your friends, don’t
go with the attorney’s sole recommendation. Ask your attorney and other professionals for multiple recommendations and interview them all. Select only the ones you believe are best for you.

Clearly, there are better ways to obtain professional referrals when it comes to your divorce. It all comes down to having a divorce plan.

Not planning for your divorce is a sure way to fail, which will have an impact on you and your family well into the future. Turning to friends, family and internet searches for professional referrals and answers is a gamble. Remember, throughout the divorce process, you want individuals on your side with the experience, knowledge and compassion matched to your individual needs.