7 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Divorce Attorney
Few events in life are as stressful and traumatic as a divorce. It's an emotional rollercoaster, and you shouldn't try to handle it alone.
An experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the process. Hiring a divorce attorney is not a decision you should take lightly.
You want someone who will fight for your rights and achieve the outcome you deserve. Before choosing an attorney, it's important to know what questions to ask.
Here are 7 key questions to ask when selecting a divorce attorney.
- What Specialized Experience Do You Have?
You want an attorney who has experience handling divorce cases in your local area. Although many couples can avoid a lengthy battle and come to an agreement on their own, that's not always possible.
If you're facing custody issues or property disputes, you need an experienced attorney guiding the way. An attorney should be willing to discuss their education, areas of practice, and experience with similar cases.
Don't hesitate to ask questions about their background, years of experience, success rates, or any areas of concern. You're placing important matters in your attorney's hands, and you want to be sure you choose the right one.
- What Will the Divorce Process Be Like?
If this is your first divorce, you may be unsure of what to expect. The divorce process can be highly emotional and stressful. If one spouse refuses to cooperate, it can become complicated.
Most divorces follow a similar process, but the length of the process depends on the issues involved. A divorce mediation attorney can help couples reach a mutual agreement which may speed up the process.
But other divorces can drag on with weeks or months of litigation. Some typical divorce issues include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Child visitation
- Spousal support
- Dividing assets and debts
- Dividing property
If you have children, divorce is more complicated. There are often tough decisions to make. You need a skilled divorce attorney by your side every step of the way.
- What Do I Need to Provide?
Meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time can be overwhelming. It's a good idea to know what kind of documents they need to better understand your situation.
The attorney will inform you of the steps to take. They may instruct you to gather financial information, income statements, a list of debts, past legal documents, and more.
Think about what you want to gain from your divorce and relay this to the attorney. You want a collaborative divorce attorney, and you should feel comfortable asking questions and expressing your concerns.
If you are unable to establish a rapport with a divorce attorney, look for a better fit.
- What Are the Costs?
An experienced divorce attorney should be upfront about the cost of your divorce. A complicated divorce may be more expensive than an uncontested divorce.
Trying to handle your divorce on your own is never a good idea and could end up costing you more in the long run. If both parties agree on the division of assets and debts, child custody, and child support, you may be able to finalize for far less than you would pay for a highly contested divorce.
Ask each divorce attorney on your list about their fees. Find out how they determine the price and when they expect payment.
It's important to have a clear picture of the initial costs and any additional costs you may be expected to pay along the way.
- How Will We Communicate?
Determine who will be handling your case. The lawyer you interview may not be the one you deal with moving forward. Make sure the attorney handling your case has relevant experience with similar cases.
Ask how you'll communicate with your primary lawyer. How will they contact you? How often should you expect to be updated? Will they email, call, video chat, or meet with you in person?
These are all common ways you might communicate with your attorney. Make sure you know the best way to reach your attorney when you have any questions or concerns.
- Will I Need to Go to Court?
Your attorney should be able to explain the possibility of going to court. In most cases, you will appear in court for an initial "divorce proceeding."
Going to the court during your divorce process depends on the complexities involved in your case. If you have an uncontested divorce or work with a divorce mediation attorney, you may not have to go to court at all.
Child custody issues and financial disputes may complicate matters and increase the amount of time you spend in court. Talk to your attorney about the prospects of going to court and make sure the attorney you choose has courtroom experience.
- What Outcome Can I Expect?
Talk to the attorney about the details of your situation and what you hope to gain from the divorce. Ask the attorney if they are able to help you meet these goals.
Do your part and bring any relevant documents to the consultation. The attorney may need to study financial documents and do some research to determine a possible outcome.
Although an attorney cannot guarantee an outcome, they should be able to give you a general idea about the possibilities. They can help you take a realistic look at your expectations and what to expect on the road ahead.
Find the Best Divorce Attorney for You
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved. But having a trusted divorce attorney by your side will make a difficult journey a little easier.
Knowing that better days are ahead should bring you hope. Choosing the right divorce attorney is so important.
Knowing the right questions to ask can make it easier to find the best divorce attorney for your case. We'd love to talk with you about your case and how we can help.
Contact Fair Price Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.