If you’re looking at filing for divorce, it’s essential to have the best legal representation on your side. That means you have to do your due diligence by doing your homework, checking your attorney’s paperwork, and verifying they have the level of expertise you need for your case. You also need to ask the right questions and watch out for the right answers.
Ideally, you want a divorce attorney specializing in family law and other subspecialties pertinent to your case. For instance, if your divorce involves custody issues, you want an attorney that has mastered the legal principles of custody law. Similarly, suppose your divorce involves complex financial aspects, such as alimony, child support, and financial disclosure between parties. In that case, you must work with an attorney that understands the current laws applicable to these issues.
Whatever the case, here are some important questions you should consider asking a divorce attorney during the consultation stage. Be sure to listen to the answers carefully and take notes, to help you make an informed decision that gives you the best outcome.
Do You Specialize In Family Law?
As mentioned, your best bet is to choose an attorney that specializes in divorce. Some attorneys will claim to be divorce attorneys, but in fact, their specialties lie elsewhere, and divorce is just part of their practice. In addition, some attorneys will not even have the right certification required to become a family law specialist, so always confirm this particular point.
When Are You Available If I Want to Reach Out?
We all know lawyers are busy people, but still, that doesn’t mean you should hire a lawyer that’s rarely available to meet your needs. The best thing is to work out a schedule that works for you and your divorce attorney.
Determine the best times to call and ask for protocols to follow when faced with specific emergencies. You should also ask your attorney how long they will take to get back to you if they happen to be unavailable when you reach out.
What Are The Estimated Costs of My Divorce Case?
We should emphasize “estimated” here because it’s difficult for your divorce attorney to gauge the total costs without knowing other factors like the level of conflict in your case and the exact number of billable hours. Be wary of too low estimates because they may be designed solely to attract your business while misleading you.
It’s better to receive an honest but higher estimate, so you’re fully prepared. If you’re worried about the costs, ask the attorney if you can do anything to reduce expenses, maybe by carrying out some of the tasks by yourself.
Can I File for Divorce and Bankruptcy Jointly?
Sometimes couples may choose to file for divorce and bankruptcy jointly. This simplifies the divorce process because there won’t be the issue of debt division to resolve. Filing for bankruptcy is actually quite common, especially if it’s not the first time.
According to personal bankruptcy statistics, about 8% of people who file for bankruptcy have done so before. If you’re going this route, be sure that your divorce attorney has sufficient experience to guide you through the process.
How Do You Predict My Case Will Go?
This helps reassure you that your divorce attorney knows enough about your case to predict the judge’s ruling. They should also take the time to explain their strategy for approaching the case in layperson terms. Knowing there’s a plan in place will give you more peace of mind. Besides the direction of the case, you should also ask your divorce attorney how long they think the case will last. That way, you will be more prepared financially, mentally, and emotionally for whatever comes.
At the end of the day, which question to ask depends on whether your case is simple with minimal financial issues or a contested case with substantial assets and complicated financial or custody issues. With a simpler case, there’s no harm in hiring a divorce attorney without much experience.
However, you’ll need to hire an experienced attorney with knowledge of specific subspecialties of family law that apply to your situation. In any case, asking the questions outlined above will set you on the right track. Should you get in touch, we will be able to answer all these questions for you, plus more. We are professional and experienced divorce attorneys dedicated to ensuring the best outcome for your case, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.