Questions to Ask When Hiring a Divorce Attorney

Are you undergoing a divorce? In such a situation, the only thing that can make your life a little easier is hiring a divorce attorney who can help you go through the process. There are numerous lawyers out there but coming across one that meets your needs can be tricky. We have listed down a number of questions that can help you narrow down to the best divorce attorney for your case.

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How Long Have you Been Working on Family Law?

Instead of asking the potential lawyer how long they have been practicing law, be specific and ask how much experience they have in family law. This is particularly important if you think the divorce process is going to be contested or hard.

Divorce cases usually go to trial, and if that occurs, the attorney will have to:

-Conduct direct and cross-examinations

-Prepare legal arguments

-Present evidence to the court

-File motions

You will have some peace of mind if you know that a skilled and experienced lawyer is handling your case.

Do You work on Other Cases other Than Family Law and Divorce?

The answer here will help you assess the dedication of the potential lawyer to your case. Attorneys who are involved in other law areas may not be as focused to divorce ones as much as those who only deal with divorce cases. Also, the latter have more experience when it comes to law matters. However, this does not mean that an attorney who does not practice family law exclusively will lose your case. If possible, pick a lawyer who dedicates their time in a single domain in law.

How Do You Plan on Communicating Regarding the Case?

Communication is key between you and the lawyer. The sooner you are aware of how it will occur, the better. That being said, here are some questions you should ask to streamline communication.

-How often will the attorney contact you?

-What is the standard turnaround time for a return call or email?

-What communication mode will be used? E.g. phone, email or one on one?

-Will the contact you directly or through other individuals in their team?

What Does The Procedure Entail?

If this is your first time going through a divorce, then you most likely do not know what to expect or what lies ahead. Divorce proceedings tend to vary from one region to another, and the case duration will depend on your situation as well as the level of cooperation between you and soon to be ex-spouse.

After assessing all the facts, a lawyer specializing in divorce can give you an estimation of the timeline. This can be especially helpful if you have a full-time job, other commitments to handle or want to assess your financial situation.

So, ask the potential attorney to talk you through every stage so that you can be prepared for what’s likely to happen.

What’s The Fee Structure?

It’s always a good idea to know how much the process will cost you in the long haul. Sometimes, these proceedings can take years to settle and so, it is best to know how it will impact you financially. That being said, here are a few things you may want to find out.

-Are the charges fixed or by the hour?

-If the lawyer is charging by the hour, do the charges include the time spent making calls, answering your questions, sending emails etc.? Also, at what increments of time will the billing be done?

-Do you need to give the lawyer a retainer after hiring them? If so, what will be the amount?

-Does the lawyer have various rates for in-court and out of the court period?

Have You Ever Been In Trouble With The Bar?

It is never rude to inquire whether the potential divorce attorney has ever been in trouble. If so, ask about the details. Assess their answer and decide whether it is wise to continue by availing their services.

What’s The Process of Dividing Marital Assets?

The allocation of assets usually depends on property laws that tend to vary from region to region. That’s because property laws dictate ownership rights. In most states, splitting assets is pretty straightforward.

However, in order to avoid biased claims, ask the potential attorney to walk you through the entire process of assets allocation. This division can start right after you start living in separate premises and this actually makes the divorce process shorter.

How Will You Make A Decision Regarding Child Custody

Couples sometimes decide child custody issues privately, usually making the divorce proceedings shorter. If you have not handled this issue with your partner, then ask the attorney about your chances of getting the custody of your kids before hiring them. Ensure you comprehend the factors considered by judges when deicing which partner should get the custody.

In some cases, custody battles tend to extend the divorce proceedings. If you wish to wrap up things quickly, you may want to concede some issues. Ask your attorney when it is in your favor to settle and where it’s possible to benefit by challenging the matter.

If you do not wish to go to trial, ask the attorney about an alternative like mediation or arbitration. If you and your soon to be ex are ideal candidates for an alternative dispute resolution process, then you can actually be able to minimize the emotional and financial cost of divorce.

Will I Get Alimony or Spousal Support

Every region or state has varying rules when it comes to alimony cases. Whether you’re the one paying or seeking alimony, it is important to discuss the issue with your lawyer in order to get an idea regarding your liabilities.

When deciding whether the partner is eligible for receiving or paying alimony, there are a few things that come into play. Some of them include:

-Property possessions

-Marriage Length

-Parenting responsibilities

-Separate contributions to the relationship or marriage

-Tax implications

By asking these questions, you should be able to choose a divorce lawyer such as who will certainly help you with your case.

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Comment by Shantell on Sunday

These are great questions. My divorce became final in 2016. One of the things that was very important to me was that my lawyer would respect me and my family. I spoke to many lawyers who didn't seem to understand that my family was being dismantled. I needed a lawyer who could be sensitive to that aspect.



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