Before you hire a divorce attorney, there are several things you need to bring up. Find the right lawyer by asking these questions.
Did you know that divorce rates in the United States have declined over the past decade? Regardless, it is still a difficult process to go through, both emotionally and legally.
To make sure that you get the best outcome possible in the divorce process, it’s essential that you find the right divorce attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable about the laws in your specific state.
Here are some essential questions you should ask when you interview potential lawyers.
1. What Is Your Level of Experience?
You should only hire an attorney who has extensive knowledge and experience with divorce law in your state. Ask the lawyer about their years of practice and any certifications or awards they have received. Although inexperienced lawyers don’t always deliver poor results, they are much less likely to be successful when handling your case.
It’s much better to go with someone who is more established in the industry.
2. What Are Your Fees?
Different lawyers will charge different amounts for their services. Before you hire a lawyer, ask them about their fee structure and what payment methods they accept. Also, find out if the attorney will provide any discounts for certain services.
It’s also worth noting that some lawyers charge hourly fees while others charge a flat fee. It’s highly recommended to choose a firm that offers their services in exchange for a flat fee. This way you will have insight into exactly what you will pay.
If you work with a firm that charges hourly, you can easily surpass your expected costs. In some situations, this could place a huge financial burden on the client.
3. How Will You Handle My Case?
Divorce cases can often be complicated, and you want to ensure that your lawyer knows how they will handle your case.
Ask them how they will handle the proceedings and what strategies they plan to use in order to reach an agreement with your spouse or their attorney. They should have a detailed plan of action for your legal representation.
If they don’t seem to have a comprehensive answer, it’s in your best interest to look elsewhere. This is the only way that you can avoid working with someone who is not able to meet your needs.
4. Do You Have Any References?
It can be helpful to speak to clients who have previously worked with the lawyer. Ask the attorney if they can provide any references so you can get an idea of how they conducted their cases.
Of course, the references that they provide should also be reputable legal professionals. It wouldn’t make much sense to hire an attorney who is only able to direct you to lawyers who have a poor reputation in the local industry.
5. How Can I Get in Touch With You?
Find out the best way to contact your lawyer and determine an appropriate timeline for when you should expect a response.
For example, you may want to ask if they are available for phone calls, email, or text messages in the evenings and on weekends. Keep in mind that some lawyers will charge you for contacting them outside of business hours. They may even charge you for a full hour for an exchange that takes only a few minutes.
Some attorneys aren’t able to be reached outside of business hours at all. As long as you understand the limitations in place, you can avoid problems in the future.
6. What Information Do I Need to Provide?
Divorce cases require a lot of paperwork and documentation. It’s crucial to know what documents your lawyer will need from you in order to build your case. Ask them which financial and personal information they will require to move forward.
For example, you may need to provide documentation related to your income or asset ownership. Not only will this help the process go smoother, but it will also help protect you. Divorces are notorious for being situations where one spouse tries to claim money or property from the other.
7. Are You Experienced in Going to Trial?
Not all divorce cases go to trial, but your lawyer should be prepared if the situation arises.
Ask them about their experience in going to court and find out if they have any particular strategies for success if your case does end up in front of a judge. If your divorce lawyer is not experiencing going to trial, you may want to choose an alternative option.
Although many divorce cases can be resolved through mediation, there is no guarantee that they will. The last thing you want is to find yourself in court against a much more experienced attorney.
8. How Long Will My Case Take?
Divorce cases can take anywhere from a few months to years, depending on the complexity of your situation. Ask your lawyer how long they estimate it will take to resolve your case and what steps to expect along the way.
This will help put your mind at ease, as the divorce process can be overwhelming for many people. It will also help you establish a timeline for major events in your life in the coming months/years.
Finding a Divorce Attorney Is Easier Than It Seems
By asking these questions, you can find a divorce attorney who is reliable, knowledgeable, and experienced in divorce law. With the right legal representation, you will be better equipped to face challenges during this difficult time.
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