Going through a divorce is a stressful, and often painful, experience. Although a lot of emotions will be running through your mind, it is important to remain focused on the task at hand. Regardless of how divorce proceedings are going, you need to have the right divorce lawyer on your side to represent your best interests. As you compare different attorneys, consider asking the following questions to find the best fit for your case.
What’s Your Experience?
Every attorney has a different skill set and experience handling a wide variety of cases. While some attorneys focus on general law and take on a variety of cases, other lawyers might focus exclusively on family law and divorce. Although not necessarily required, it is a good idea to consider a divorce attorney who specializes in dissolution of marriage and other family law areas.
What’s Your Educational Background?
This question shouldn’t be viewed as being critical or harsh toward a potential divorce attorney, but rather a realistic expectation. After all, you wouldn’t take your car in for repairs if the mechanic’s shop didn’t have certifications hanging on the wall proving they have an educational background that qualifies them to work on engines and car parts. Likewise, you shouldn’t trust your divorce litigation to someone who won’t tell you which law school they graduated from and when.
How Do You Assess My Case?
Attorneys.com points out that it is a good idea to ask a potential divorce lawyer about their thoughts on your case before taking it on. Don’t be afraid to share the details, because they won’t be able to assess your situation without a least a basic level of information regarding your marriage. Ask them for their personal evaluation of your case, what kind of settlement you might expect, and potential problems or obstacles they see that could impact of the outcome of the divorce proceedings.
What About Costs?
Divorce proceedings can get expensive quickly, especially if there are motions and counter motions filed by both parties. It is a fair question to ask your divorce attorney up front what the legal fees might be. Will they charge you an hourly rate for their services? What about the time you might spend working with associates and paralegals in their office? Is there an upfront retainer?
What is Your Legal Philosophy?
Any divorce lawyer you might work with is going to represent you in a court of law, so it’s a good idea to ask about their legal philosophy. What is their overall approach to handling this type of work? Will they tell you what to do or offer you options and leave the decisions to you?