If you’ve thought about hiring a divorce attorney, there’s a few questions you should ask before choosing the first one you meet.
Though a divorce seems overwhelming, an experienced divorce attorney can reduce your stress and make sure you receive a fair settlement.
Here are a few questions to ask a divorce attorney before hiring. These questions are designed to determine if the lawyer is the right one for you.
Questions About Background and Experience
During the first meeting, ask questions regarding the attorney’s background and experience.
- How long have you practiced family law?
- How many divorce cases have gone to trial?
- How many divorce cases have been mediated?
- Do you practice other areas of law?
- How many clients have you helped file for divorces each year?
- What steps do you go through to understand changes in divorce laws?
Questions About Case Management
You should always ask how the lawyer will handle your case behind the scenes. Asking these questions can help prevent misunderstandings going forward.
- Do you have the time to devote to my divorce case?
- What’s the best way to divide the debts and property?
- How can I make sure I retain custody of my children?
- How long do you think the divorce will take?
- Will you handle my divorce on your own or with another attorney?
- How will you communicate with me? Phone call? Email?
Questions About Legal Fees
You may have questions about how much a lawyer costs. Though most divorce lawyers bill by the hour, you should inquire about all fees and rates.
- How much do you charge per hour?
- How much would you estimate my divorce will cost?
- Do you charge a flat fee? If so, what’s included?
- What additional expenses do I have to cover other than your time?
- Do you require a retainer fee? When do you expect payment?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Will I sign a contract that outlines the fee arrangement?
Questions About the Lawyer’s Style
Every divorce lawyer has a unique way of handling a divorce. By learning the lawyer’s style, you get a feel for what it would be like working with him or her.
- What do you feel about mediation?
- How would you talk to my spouse’s lawyer?
- Would you handle the divorce with tenacity or subtlety?
- Does your style help you win a majority of your cases?
- How often do you settle your cases without a judge deciding the major issues?
After you ask these questions, you’ll know which lawyer should represent you based on the answers. Choosing a lawyer doesn’t have to increase your burden during a divorce. Just choose an attorney who fits your style, charges a fair legal fee and has the best experience to handle the case.