Divorce Advice 101 - Questions To Ask A Divorce Lawyer
Divorce Advice 101 - The Interview Preparation
Prior to meeting with any potential divorce lawyer, you’ll need to get ready for the interview by preparing a list of questions and concerns you have for the prospective attorneys.
Divorce Advice 101 – Your Expectations
With your list also include your expectations in terms of property and asset distribution and other issues such as child custody, child support, visitation and alimony/maintenance.
Divorce Advice 101 – Critical Issues
Sometimes, divorce cases can get complex, to include but not limited to these issues: adultery, abuse, domestic violence, paternity fraud, financial abuse, false abuse charges, criminal activity, fraudulently obtained restraining orders, false accusations, terroristic threats, one spouse is incarcerated, and/or parental alienation.
If your case involves any of these issues and possibly others not named, inform the attorney during the interview process! This helps them to have a clearer idea of what they are dealing with.
Divorce Advice 101 – Questions To Ask a Divorce Lawyer
- Will I be charged for the initial consultation?
- Will you be handling my case directly or will you pass it down to a junior associate?
- Do you require your clients to pay a retainer?
- If not, when payments are expected and how can payments can be made?
- What is your hourly rate?
- What is classified as billable hours?
- Will you return my phone calls?
- Will I be charged for each phone call?
- How will communication between us be handled, (i.e., phone calls, e-mails, IM, online, snail mail)?
- How many years of experience do you have as a divorce lawyer?
- Do you specialize in, or primarily handle, divorce, child custody, and related family law matters?
- In the event that our divorce goes to trial, do you have sufficient divorce court trial experience?
- Will I be copied in on all correspondence, including legal documentation and letters?
- Will you provide me with a fee agreement prior to signing an agreement?
Divorce Advice 101 – Questions To Ask Yourself After The Interview
After the interview, you need to ask yourself these critical questions:
- Did you check out the lawyer's records with the local state bar association?
- Are they in good standing with the bar?
- Have they handled divorce cases similar to yours?
- Did the attorney ask appropriate, intelligent questions about your case?
- Does this divorce lawyer sound competent?
- Were all of your questions answered fully and adequately, or do you feel that you were getting the brush-off?
- Do you feel comfortable with this divorce lawyer?
- Did the divorce lawyer attempt to pressure you into making a decision on the spot?
- Do you feel this divorce attorney will treat you like a number? Or, handle you with professional concern?
- Are their attorney’s fees fully disclosed and acceptable to you?
- Did you read the fee agreement thoroughly?
- Is this divorce lawyer within your budget?