Choosing an attorney can be hard - should you go with the person who has a tv ad, the person that advertises in the phone book, a quick yelp search, etc...
Honestly you might have to sort through a couple of attorneys before you talk to one that just clicks as the person who is right for you. You have to work with this person for months or possibly a year or two depending on the complexity of your case.
We all passed the bar, but those who chose family law for reasons other than money have a much different attitude then most typical attorneys. We care about the people involved - we understand that every decision or strategy impacts your life and the lives of your children (and gasp - even your ex's). Unfortunately even in family law we have the sharks that are only in it for the win, no matter how much it hurts the other side and as a result the kids.
1. You want to find an attorney that understands that you will have to co-parent with the other side. You may be livid with them now - but for the rest of your child's life you will have to deal with them for visitations, major events, etc. Co-parenting is KEY if your lawyer does not understand that - MOVE ON.
2. You want to find an attorney who also understands your spouse/ex's behavior. This is imperative where it is a domestic violence situation. You will want an attorney that will not be bullied by the other person, but on the other hand understands how "charming" abusers can be.
3. Make sure that your attorney understands what you want and is realistic about you about what is possible or not based on your situation. Do not go with an attorney who just tells you what you want to hear in order to get the fee agreement signed. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Make sure that you are talking to an actual attorney and preferably the attorney that will be handling your case. Lots of times you talk to a paralegal/assistant or intern and not the actual attorney. Make sure you talk to the person that will be handling the day to day parts of your case - since you will be working with them closely and have to feel like you trust them.
5. Make sure you talk to your attorney about hidden fees/charges. Do they typically waive some of them? For example, I typically only charge clients for longer phone calls and not for leaving me messages. I do not guarantee them this, but I do tend to do this. With this you also need to make sure they are not in it for the money-- by this I mean are they more likely to drag on your case in order to collect more fees. or try to get you and your ex to reach an agreement that is best for all parties involved (again dont forget about the children). In family law if your attorney is not trying to lean you in the direction of an agreement - get another attorney.