Divorce is a complicated issue which raises everyone’s emotions. Having a divorce attorney to represent your interests is important. The predicament comes in determining which family law office you want to represent you during this process. The most effective way to do this is to determine what questions you need answers to before hiring a lawyer.
Who will be handling my case?
One of the most important things to determine is who within a firm will handle your divorce case. Remember, in some large law firms, a case may be handled by multiple attorneys. Having an attorney dedicated to your case is the best option. You should also ask about paralegals and others who may work on your divorce.
Who do I contact after hours if I have questions?
Your questions do not always come up during normal business hours. Most firms who offer the services of a divorce attorney will have someone available off hours to help address any concerns you may have or in the event an emergency situation arises.
How does your firm bill for divorce cases?
This is important because money you spend on your divorce case will have an impact on your future finances. Make sure you find out what your divorce attorney will charge hourly. You should also ask about billing for paralegal services, document preparation services, and court filing fees. This would be the time to inquire about the firm’s requirements for a retainer as well.
Can you give me the estimated cost of my divorce?
The answer to this question may be a bit tricky because there are a number of factors which will have an impact on the total cost. Remember, if your spouse is contesting any aspect of the divorce, this will result in higher costs. Estimated pricing is important, but remember, a divorce attorney does not have a crystal ball informing them ahead of time of issues which may arise.
What are some of the ways to keep the cost of my divorce down?
Your divorce attorney may recommend ways you can help keep your costs down. This may involve doing some of your own paperwork, providing them with additional information, or providing them with copies of relevant documents. Find out what the divorce attorney is comfortable with in terms of having you perform some of the services they might otherwise request a paralegal or secretary to perform.
How do you feel about my discussing issues directly with my spouse?
In some cases, a divorcing couple has an amicable arrangement where they can discuss issues openly. Not every divorce attorney is comfortable with this type of arrangement. Keep in mind, in most cases, the more you can resolve with your spouse outside of court, the lower your overall cost of a divorce will be. Many divorce attorneys welcome the idea of a collaborative effort to resolve matters like child support, custody and visitation, and property division.
Tell me how you would see my divorce case working?
This will help you understand the strategy your divorce lawyer will take. Remember, this will vary from person to person. Couples who have no children, couples where they have a mutually owned business, or couples who mostly agree on issues will all have different processes.
When you are going through the process of divorce, finding the right divorce lawyer matters. You want someone who is prepared to serve as your advocate, but at the same time, you want to have the freedom to work out issues with your spouse if there is an ability to do so.
Divorces are highly emotional regardless of the circumstances. Finding the right divorce attorney is a necessity to help protect your interests. Find a family law firm who shares your vision and understands your individual needs.