Divorce is an overwhelming and stressful process. It can drain you emotionally, and how it is handled can have an impact on you for the rest of your life. That’s why you need to make sure that you have an experienced and skilled divorce lawyer by your side to walk with you throughout your divorce. The lawyer will not only offer a shoulder to lean on but he or she will ensure that you get what you deserve.
However, the main challenge is hiring the best divorce lawyer. With so many divorce lawyers today, it can be quite a challenge to choose one. Thankfully, there are a set of questions you can ask the lawyer to help you determine if he or she is the right fit. Here are some of the top questions you can ask a divorce lawyer before you go ahead and hire him or her.
- Do you handle other cases than family and divorce law?
Of course, getting an answer to this question can help you determine the dedication of the lawyer to your case. If the lawyer is involved in other areas of law, then he or she may not be as focused on divorce cases as a lawyer who practices divorce law. A divorce lawyer has more experience in and out of the courtroom. So if you want a lawyer who can help you with your divorce, you should choose one from Goldstein Law because their lawyers specialize in divorce and family law.
- How long have you been practicing family law?
You also need to ascertain the lawyer’s experience in handling divorce cases. This question can help you get a better idea of the lawyer’s experience. The more the number of years the lawyer has been practicing divorce law, the more experienced he or she is. Experience is crucial, especially if you believe that your divorce is going to be complex or contested.
- Divorce cases usually go to trial. If that happens, the divorce lawyer will have to:
- Contact direct and cross-examinations
- Present evidence to the court
- Make objections to evidence
- Prepare legal arguments as well as file motions
If you have a skilled and experienced divorce lawyer handling your case, you will relax knowing that the case is in the right hands.
- What does the divorce procedure entail?
If you have never gone through a divorce, you may not know what it entails and what to expect. Generally, divorce proceedings vary from one state to another, and the duration of your case will depend on your situation as well as how both you and your ex-spouse are cooperative.
Once the divorce lawyer has assessed all the facts, he or she will provide you with an estimated timeline. This is especially important if you or your ex-spouse has a full-time job, have to keep other commitments, or want to assess your financial situation. A good divorce lawyer should walk you through every step of the divorce so that you can prepare emotionally, mentally, and psychologically for what is coming next.
- How will you communicate about the case?
Communication is key when it comes to hiring a divorce lawyer. You will be in constant communication with your divorce lawyer throughout your divorce. That’s why you need a lawyer with great communication skills. To determine the communication style of the lawyer, ask him or her these questions:
- How often will you contact me?
- Will you contact me directly or through your team?
- What method of communication will you be using: telephone, email, or in-person?
- What is the usual turnaround time for a return call from you?
- Have you ever been involved in any malpractice claim?
The reputation of the divorce lawyer is also a crucial thing to pay attention to when hiring one. That’s why you need to ask the lawyer if he or she has been in trouble with the bar association. If your potential lawyer’s answer is yes, ask him or her about the details. If you are convinced with their answers and you feel it won’t be a problem for you, you can go ahead and hire him or her. If you feel that is a big deal, you can look for another divorce lawyer.
- How will you decide on child support?
In some cases, couples may decide to discuss child custody privately. In this case, the divorce proceeding can be smooth and peaceful. But if you haven’t discussed this with your ex-spouse, ask the lawyer about your chances of getting custody of your child/children before you hire them. Let the lawyer explain to you the factors that state judges consider when deciding who among the parents should get the custody.
- What is the process of allocating matrimonial assets?
The division of matrimonial assets depends on property laws. These laws vary from one state to another. In most states, dividing marital assets is easier, and both partners are allocated joint assets. But if you want to avoid any prejudiced claims against the property, ask the divorce lawyer to walk with you through the division of assets. Division of assets can begin the moment the couple starts living separately. Of course, this is better because it can shorten the divorce proceedings.
- What are your costs?
Finally, another crucial question you need to ask the lawyer is how much their legal fees are. Divorce lawyers generally charge differently for their legal services. In addition to that, some divorce cases can drag for years. This is why it is important for you to know how it will affect you financially. These are some of the questions you need to ask the divorce lawyer when it comes to their legal fees:
- Will you charge a fixed fee or hourly?
- If you are charging on an hourly basis, will it include the time spent on making calls, answering questions, or sending emails?
- Do you have different rates for in-court and out-court time?
If you are comfortable with the answers the lawyer gives you, you can go ahead and hire him or her.