Are you in need of a divorce attorney?
Divorce is never easy, it’s the end of a chapter of your life and it affects many other people. It’s only natural for it to be one of the most stressful moments you’ll go through.
You don’t need the added stress a bad divorce attorney can bring. But if you’ve never been through the process before, you might not know how to pick the right lawyer for your needs.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for these top 9 questions to ask before choosing a divorce attorney.
- 1 How Long Have You Practiced Family Law?
- 2 Do you Practice Other Areas of Law?
- 3 Do They Think It’s Better to Negotiate or go to Trial?
- 4 What Are Your Views on Custody?
- 5 Will They Keep You Updated During Your Case?
- 6 Do I Give/Get Spousal Support?
- 7 What is the Divorce Process?
- 8 Do They Know the Local Family Courts?
- 9 What is the Fee Structure?
1How Long Have You Practiced Family Law?
Instead of asking how long they’ve been in law, be more specific and ask about family law. This question is vital if you think your divorce will be a contested one.
Often divorce cases go to trial, you want an experienced attorney on your side. Your attorney will need to do the following:
- carry out direct and cross-examinations
- present evidence to the judge
- make objections to the opposing side’s evidence
- file motions and put together legal arguments
If you know an attorney has the skills and experience in this area, you can rest easier with your case in their hands.
2Do you Practice Other Areas of Law?
This question lets you know the specialization of any attorneys you’re considering. Lawyers who practice other areas of law might not focus as much on your case or your needs.
Not to mention, the latter will be more experienced in the tougher, rougher divorce cases. You deserve an attorney who will give you their full focus and attention.
3Do They Think It’s Better to Negotiate or go to Trial?
The most important thing when you’re looking for an attorney is you’re on the same page. If you want to negotiate and mediate, but an attorney wants to go to trial, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Any disagreements with your legal team could hurt your case. This question will help you work out if your lawyer will work with you, or against you.
4What Are Your Views on Custody?
If you have kids, then your divorce will impact them as much as it does you. That is why it is often useful to get the views of someone who has seen plenty of divorces. They will be able to tell you far more about the options available to you, and what is best for your children.
On the other hand, if you already know what approach you intend to take, you may not want to have an attorney that fundamentally disagrees with you about what will be best for your children.
5Will They Keep You Updated During Your Case?
It’s up to you how involved you want to be during the divorce proceedings. Some choose to stay updated with every little detail of their case. Others only want to know of the big developments.
Make sure you find out how much communication your attorney will give you before signing them up. You want someone who meets your communication needs, big or small.
6Do I Give/Get Spousal Support?
Each state has its own rules about alimony settlements. Whether you’d pay or receive it, make sure you talk with your attorney about what your liabilities will be.
There are a few factors that need considering to work out if alimony is on the table. Some of which include:
- how long the marriage was
- parenting responsibilities
- earning differences
- each spouses contributions
Find out from your lawyer what they’ll need to consider in your case, and what the likely outcome of this could be. Will you likely give/get alimony and how much you may be looking at.
7What is the Divorce Process?
Unless you’ve done this before, it’s likely you won’t know what the process entails. Divorce will vary between countries and states and how long it takes varies. The nationality of you and your spouse may also impact proceedings you can learn more about this here.
After looking at the initial facts, an attorney should be able to give a rough timescale. This can make scheduling easier and help you get your financial situation in place so you don’t struggle. Get your lawyer to walk through step by step so you can prepare yourself.
8Do They Know the Local Family Courts?
One of the benefits of hiring an attorney is to get access to their local knowledge and experience. If an attorney knows the family court judges in your district they will be more likely to provide useful insights.
Thanks to their history, they will be able to build a case that more likely to sway a judge in your favor. While no judge will let their bias change a judgment, finding the right angle to present your case will help you get your point of view across.
9What is the Fee Structure?
Before hiring a lawyer, make sure you know how much this is going to cost. Get the attorney to break down their fee structure, and find out what they charge for. To be more precise, find out:
- do they charge hourly or a fixed fee?
- if hourly, what does this include? (answering emails, making calls, meeting paralegals, etc.)
- will they bill you all at once, or is there a payment plan?
- do they ask for a retainer after hiring them?
- if so, how much will that cost?
Get all the financial facts upfront, so you have an easier time comparing attorney fees.
Choosing a Divorce Attorney Made Easy
So, there you have it! Now you know what questions to ask, you’ll find choosing a divorce attorney easy.
Make sure you know what the fees will be upfront so you know what you’ll be paying. Always choose an attorney with divorce case experience in family law and going to trial. They should make you feel important, focus on your case and be willing to fight for you.
If you found this article useful, check out our other blog posts today!