Divorce ("Family") Lawyers are a strange breed.  Usually, they strongly believe in love, marriage, and protecting children in unhappy homes. Yet they spend their day giving advice to angry, sad, depressed or hopelessly in love clients as family ties are unraveling. It has been said that a good divorce lawyer is part lawyer, part psychologist and part clergy. A good divorce lawyer also is indispensable if you are contemplating a divorce (or, for lawyers, if your client is doing so).

Why not a commercial litigator? A personal injury lawyer? A tax and estates lawyer? Not because you will save money—because you will not! An experienced divorce lawyer will already be aware of the issues likely to arise in your case. There is no learning curve. This divorce lawyer knows the court rules and the court personnel. She knows the other practitioners in her area of expertise.  She knows the best appraisers (real estate, jewelry, pensions, etc.), the best therapists, and the best tax lawyers for this case.

Your divorce lawyer also brings certain unique skills to the case. He negotiates in a way that is designed to lessen antagonism with your child’s other parent, while still vigorously protecting your rights. He gives you advice that is geared to your family situation, not just your financial needs. Your divorce lawyer is experienced in custody issues, including counseling, scheduling, abuse and other areas that commercial lawyers do not handle.

If you have a great lawyer who is not a divorce lawyer, she/he can still be involved in your case as an advisor. Good lawyers and good friends should always be part of your team, but the coach needs to be a divorce lawyer.