TIP #1: In a divorce, you and your spouse should seek immediate and separate legal representation, even if it appears that you are in agreement. If you are persuaded to be without counsel, actions may be taken against you that will be difficult to reverse. The cost of reviewing a settlement is minor compared to what you may lose.

TIP #2: Hiring a large law firm doesn't necessarily mean you are getting a better lawyer. You may pay more just to have your case handed-off to a junior-level attorney. Ask lawyers if they will personally handle your case.

TIP #3: Lawyers charge by the hour, so you want an attorney who can move your case forward quickly. Look for someone who knows the law, judges and other lawyers. The legal field is paper-heavy, and lawyers can be ponderous. Ask a lot of questions, and listen for concise responses.

TIP #4: Experience counts. If custody, complex property division, substantial savings or retirement accounts are in question, you simply cannot afford an inexperienced attorney.