Are you about to take the big step into divorce? Well, if you are, you better get crystal clear answers to the following questions from your divorce attorney. No two divorce attorneys are created equally and you don’t want to find that out the hard way.
Get prepared. Get informed. Get help.
Ask an attorney direct, aggressive questions and make sure they answer them with confidence and cite specific cases in which they have gathered experience. Its your divorce. Its your life. Its your future. Make sure your divorce attorney will do what he/she can to protect that…
Specifically, how experienced is this attorney in family law? All attorneys have law degrees but not all have specific experience in family law, divorce proceedings and can handle all matters relating to fair division of marital property and all aspects of child custody and parental rights. Make sure your attorney, or potential divorce lawyer, has experience handling cases like yours.
Make sure your prospective lawyer walks you through each and every step involved in the divorce process. Do this to make sure that there are no surprises along the way and that you are best prepared emotionally and psychologically for what can sometimes be a very trying and stressful experience.
How will your divorce attorney charge you? Will you pay a portion up front? Will you pay a retainer? How much will that be? Is paying an hourly rate a better alternative> is that even an option? What are some of the other expenses – travel, clerical, paralegals, other staff, etc. knowing as much in advance and as much detail as possible will help with your own budgeting and peace of mind.
How will you be kept apprised of what is going on in your case? Who will be the person you contact when you have questions? How will documents be delivered, etc? It’s important to ask about the logistical items involved with your divorce case.
Ask the lawyer(s) how long they think this case will take? How long your divorce will take if you settle quickly versus it going to trial? Ask about contingencies, about things that could happen to change their time estimates.
OVERALL COST ESTIMATE
Ask them, point blank, what they think the overall cost of your divorce will be. While you need to understand that there are a lot of events that could occur that are beyond the control of any attorney, it’s a good idea to get a rough estimate of how much the divorce will cost.
Divorces can and usually are incredibly trying times for the spouses and the children. Many law firms offer ancillary resources to help make the process as comfortable and healthy as possible. This may include basic things like custom fitting scheduling around your needs to more sophisticated assistance like counseling or therapy. Everyone is different. All cases are different. Make sure you are getting the most out of your relationship with your divorce attorney.