The Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Divorce Attorney
Choosing the right divorce attorney is a critical part of the process. You want a divorce attorney with considerable experience: one that will help you achieve the best possible resolution in your divorce. For many people, it’s also important to find a divorce attorney who is a good personality fit: someone who will work with you throughout your divorce and support you as you deal with complicated legal and financial questions.
Have you found the right divorce attorney for you? Ask these ten questions to ensure that you’ve found the ideal divorce attorney.
1. What does your practice focus on?
Some divorce attorneys focus primarily on divorce alone: on helping their clients dissolve marriage relationships and assets. Others may focus on other aspects of family law, including child custody cases or writing a will. In other cases, you may find that a practice has a wide variety of attorneys who focus on many different elements of the law. Unless you’re looking for a law firm that will help connect you with an attorney anytime you need one, you may want to choose an attorney that focuses on family law.
2. Who will be working on my case?
In many lawyers’ offices, a wide range of people will work on any given case. Not only do many firms have multiple named partners, they may also have unnamed junior partners who are more likely to handle low-profile cases. Ask to meet all the attorneys who will be working on your case and make sure that you have confidence in them before moving forward with a specific practice.
3. Can I negotiate with my spouse on my own?
Sometimes, you may want to handle negotiations on your own, without bringing lawyers into the picture. You and your former spouse both plan to be reasonable. You’re taking the assets you want away from the marriage, and you don’t think that you need to spend hours–and hundreds of dollars–sitting down with an attorney to accomplish that division. Ask your attorney whether you can take on those tasks on your own, or if you’ll need an attorney from the practice to oversee all those interactions.
4. What do you charge?
Pricing can be a critical element of your divorce case. Make sure you have a budget for your divorce case in place before you get started. If an attorney does not fit your budget, that law firm–no matter how critically acclaimed–may not be the ideal choice for you. Make sure you have a clear understanding of pricing up front.
5. What does your current caseload look like?
If you choose to work with a busy, overloaded law firm, it may take longer to handle your divorce case. You may find yourself waiting longer for the answers to your questions and queries, and it may take longer for your paperwork to get filed. You may also find that the details of your case receive less attention than they really deserve.
6. What do you consider an emergency in a divorce case?
Sometimes, situations you did not expect can arise in the midst of a divorce. Your spouse may try to hide assets or take off across the country with your children. If you have an emergency situation arise, you may need to hear back from your lawyer quickly. Make sure you know what your lawyer considers an emergency and how you should handle it, especially how you can get in touch with your attorney quickly.
7. How do you think a judge would rule on my case?
Some divorce cases may have more complex elements than others, from a child custody argument to arguments over how you will split specific assets. You want an attorney who will help you achieve the best possible resolution for you, but who will help you understand the law as it pertains to you and your divorce and the most likely outcome in your case.
8. What type of strategy do you plan to utilize for my case?
You want to work with an attorney who has a strategy in mind: one who will help you understand your rights in your divorce and go after them. Some cases may require an aggressive strategy, in which your attorney works hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. Others may have a simpler resolution. Choose an attorney that will use the type of strategy that fits your individual needs.
9. How long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
By the time you’re ready to get divorced, you do not want to linger over the details. While some divorces prove more contentious than others, which can make it more difficult to reach a satisfactory resolution, you should work with an attorney that will help you move your case through the court system and achieve a resolution as quickly as possible. If you talk to multiple attorneys, pay particular attention to the timeline they offer you, since it may impact the time necessary to handle your claim.
10. How do you prefer to communicate with your clients?
Like you, attorneys may have different communication styles. While some prefer to connect with their clients through email, others would rather pick up the phone and make a call. Some will dash off a quick answer to a text message, while others prefer to make that phone call so they can answer any other questions you may have. Depending on how you want to move forward with your divorce and how anxious you are about various elements of your divorce, you may want a specific type of communication style. In addition to asking how your attorney prefers to communicate, make sure you consider how often your attorney plans to connect with you and how long it usually takes your attorney to respond to any challenges you may face.
Are you looking for an attorney to help handle your divorce? Pedrick Law Group, APC can help. Contact us today at 818-325-3934 to ask your questions.