The Men’s Divorce Law Firms
Over the past decade, there has been an emergence of law firms that represent gender specific clients in family law cases. Gender specific law firms have emerged for both men and women over the past decade, but are usually targeted towards the male demographic. In Orlando, we have seen several law firms and lawyers that represent Men or Women exclusively in divorce and family law cases. These lawyers typically portray that one gender is underrepresented in the legal system and that the law firm fights on behalf of that underrepresented class. But are these firms any different from other divorce or family law attorneys?
In 2012, the Wall Street Journal ran an article discussing the divorce for men niche (source). The Wall Street Journal described the gender specific law firms as a marketing niche appealing to men who fear getting a bad deal in court. With some Men’s divorce firms expanding nationwide, it is certainly a successful marketing campaign. Some of the larger Men’s divorce firms have expanded to 60 offices in 24 states representing men in family law and divorce disputes.
Although the men’s divorce firms have proven successful from a marketing perspective, do they offer any additional benefits to their clients? The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers stated, “[i]n this day and age, fathers have lots of rights… We have shared custody, and the law in most states is really gender neutral”. However, many men who have been in family law court still feel disenfranchised. Whether gender specific law firms exploit this fear or help fight for gender specific rights is an argument without an end. However, just because an attorney or law firm advertises that they only represent men or women, does not necessarily make them more qualified to represent clients.
In most divorce or family law practices, the lawyers represent both men and women on a routine basis and fight for both perspectives. It is imperative when seeking a divorce or family law attorney that you ensure that they have the qualifications to properly handle your case whether they represent men or women exclusively, or not. In any divorce or family law case, it is best that the lawyer handling your case have trial experience. While many attorneys represent clients in family law cases, not all of them have experience in the courtroom. Additionally, attorneys in the community are familiar with the lawyers that settle cases on a routine basis. You will typically reach a more favorable resolution if you have an advocate who is experienced in litigation and familiar with family law. Family law is a very specialized area of law with many nuances. If your attorney is not familiar with family law or does not practice in this field on a regular basis, he or she may not be familiar with updates or changes in the law, which could negatively impact your case.
As gender specific law firms continue to expand, it is important to remember to seek out the attorney that is best suited to handle your case. Many divorce lawyers who practice exclusively on behalf of one gender are very capable of handling divorce and family law claims. However, as the marketing in this area continues to expand, there will undoubtedly be lawyers who enter the arena and may not have the skills or experience necessary to effectively litigate your case. When seeking an attorney be sure to check their experience and credentials prior to retaining their services, no matter what their marketing may say.