In the 1989 black comedy "The War of the Roses," actors Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner played out their scorched-earth divorce to a bitter end. But for real-life couples aiming for a livable outcome, hiring the right lawyers is crucial.
“Look for a lawyer the same way you would look for a surgeon — as if your life depended on it,” says New York attorney Michael P. Mossberg, who has handled his share of cases involving both high-profile and lesser-known couples. “The divorce is not only going to cost you money: Your future depends on how it is resolved.”
Mossberg, also an instructor at New York’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, recommends checking in with your social circle for referrals or even asking patrons at bars and restaurants you frequent. “But don’t go online: It’s all hype, all b.s.,” he adds.
“Ask friends and friends of friends who have gone through a divorce,” says Randall Kessler, chairman of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section and author of the forthcoming book "Divorce: Protect Yourself, Your Kids, and Your Future."