It’s never easy deciding to end a marriage. It’s a big life step and it’s in the best interest of both spouses that it be handled correctly. A divorce can have long lasting implications on your life, from familial relationships to financial security. So when you’re looking for an attorney, it helps to know what you need to ask in order to ensure that you’re getting the lawyer that is going to best serve your needs.
Going to trial is not always ideal, and divorce lawyers you can trust understand this well. Going to settlement too often means that they may be rushing to finalize cases. Not having enough could mean that they only want to go to trial.
Someone who doesn’t know your spouse is more likely to be an unbiased party. This will help keep things more even. It may be advantageous to know the spouse’s attorney when building a divorce strategy, however there should be no significant relationship or connection.
You and your attorney need to be on the same page when it comes to trial preference. Going to court is a drawn out process that can be very stressful. Mediation tends to be a little less stressful and sometimes more economical. It’s best to have an attorney who is willing to take an approach you’re more comfortable with.
Very few divorces are finalized without addressing finances. Sometimes it’s marital or business assets, sometimes it’s child support. In order to get a fair financial settlement that takes care of your needs, you want a lawyer that is experienced in this area.
Some firms are quite large and the lawyer you initially meet with may not actually be the one attending to your case. Establish your expectation up front. If they’re unwilling or unable to accommodate you, you may wish to seek different representation where you can choose your lawyer.
You want to know that you’re being taken care of properly. Having no clients is a bit alarming, but having 25 cases is every bit of a red flag as zero cases. A lawyer that can be honest about their caseload and what you can reasonably expect from them is what you want.
Divorces cost money, and it’s nice to be able to budget things. Ask for their fee and if there are any additional fees that can be incurred. Legal proceedings come with plenty of surprises, but fees shouldn’t be one of them.
Do you want to be informed about everything or would you prefer to be notified about the major things? Make this known and find out how you can contact your attorney and how they will contact you.
Having a lawyer that is familiar with your local family court system is a good thing. This knowledge comes in handy when strategizing your case and making certain requests of the court.
The point of this question is to understand their level of experience. A seasoned divorce lawyer is likely to have picked up a lot of reliable tools to the trade. You want someone who can guide you with confidence.
Knowing what questions to ask is the first step to hiring a divorce lawyer. There are a lot of choices and doing a little research will help you shorten your list and pick someone you’re comfortable with.
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