Divorce is a difficult and emotional process. However, the outcome of the divorce can greatly affect your future financial health, parental rights, and other important decisions. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer to help manage the process can be invaluable in achieving a favorable result, but it’s critical to find an attorney with whom you are comfortable working.
Below we have compiled 10 questions that parents should ask potential divorce attorneys before deciding on which one will best suit their needs during this daunting time.
1. How long have you been practicing divorce law?
An experienced lawyer can bring invaluable understanding and insight into their client’s legal situation. They will understand the local laws, court processes, and regulations governing your state or country as they relate to divorce proceedings.
Having an experienced lawyer on your side provides valuable peace of mind and could potentially save you both time and money in the long run. They can create strategies so that you get the best outcome based on realistic expectations.
2. What do you charge for your services?
Before signing with a divorce lawyer, it is important to understand what their fees are for representing you.
Ask about their hourly rate, as well as any additional costs that may be incurred.
This includes filing fees, research charges, and the cost of having any special documents printed.
Make sure to inquire about retainer fees and if your legal fees can be paid in installments.
Lastly, find out if the firm offers a flat fee for certain services such as preparation of legal documents or advice on a particular subject.
Asking all these questions up front can help you better understand the financial commitment you’ll be taking on during your divorce proceedings.
3. Do you prefer to negotiate settlements or litigate in court if necessary?
Questions about whether the lawyer has experience with both negotiation and litigation can provide you with valuable insight into their approach as well as their level of expertise in both areas.
4. What kind of experience do you have in cases similar to mine?
Ask them what kind of cases they have worked on that are similar in nature, such as if they have dealt with property division or child custody issues.
You should also inquire if the lawyer has gone all the way through trial and has had favorable results in those kinds of cases.
Ask how long they have been practicing law and how long they have been handling divorce-related matters. This will help you determine if they will be able to provide you with effective legal representation throughout your case.
5. Do you specialize in any specific areas of divorce law?
In some cases, a lawyer may specialize in certain areas of divorce law such as paternity suits, spousal support, or business owners going through a divorce.
6. What is your approach to negotiation and conflict resolution?
This question helps you gain an understanding of how the lawyer typically works through a contested divorce. In other words, it gives you insight into the strategy that will be used to address issues such as child support, custody, spousal support, asset division, and property division.
You want a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with contested cases and has proven success in resolving disputes efficiently and responsibly.
7. Can you provide references from clients who have used your services in the past?
A lawyer’s reputation speaks volumes about their legal skills and experience. Ask them if they can provide references of former clients who have experienced success working with them. This will be beneficial in helping you determine if the lawyer is a good fit for your situation. You will want to look up reviews from people who have used their services in the past.
8. What is your preferred method of communication?
Having an open line of communication with your lawyer is essential when it comes to managing the details of your divorce case. Ask them what methods they prefer for staying in touch and how quickly they typically respond to messages or emails. Additionally, find out if they offer any online services or virtual meeting options that may be helpful during the process.
9. How will you keep me updated on the progress of my case?
It is important to know how your lawyer plans to keep you informed on the status of your divorce proceedings. Ask them what type of updates they provide and how often you can expect to hear from them regarding any changes or new developments. This will help you stay organized and up-to-date throughout the entire process.
10. Do you have any advice on how I can best prepare for our time together?
Have your attorney provide you with advice on how to best prepare for meeting and working with them. Ask what documents they need from you ahead of time, if there are any forms that need to be filled out, or if there is any other information that may be useful. This will help ensure that your meetings with the lawyer are productive and efficient.
By asking these questions, you will be able to make a more informed decision about who to hire as your divorce attorney. An experienced lawyer with knowledge in the specialized area of divorce law will be able to provide you with the best legal representation. Additionally, having a good understanding of their approach, communication style, and successful track record will help you feel more confident during your proceedings.