5 Key Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney
Between 40 and 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. If you’ve already been married at least once in the past, your risk of another marriage ending in divorce climbs even higher.
While divorce is far from uncommon, when you’re in the middle of a failing marriage yourself, it certainly won’t feel routine.
Alongside dealing with your emotions, a split household, and caring for kids while their parents split, you’ll likely also have a lot of questions. It can be tempting to push these aside and rush into a divorce in order to get it done as quickly as possible.
But doing so can cause you to get far less than what you deserve.
Instead, there are a few questions you should always ask before you every start a divorce proceeding with an attorney. Keep reading to learn 5 of the most important ones to ask when choosing a lawyer.
- Do You Specialize in Divorces?
Before a lawyer can begin to practice law, they must first pass the bar exam. This difficult exam tests their knowledge of a wide variety of types of law. And upon passing, a lawyer can practice any kind of law.
However, most lawyers choose to specialize in one of several major areas of law. Some of the most common are business law, criminal law, immigration law, and family law.
A lawyer’s who primary focus is business law can take on a divorce case. But that would be similar to a surgeon who specializes in the brain deciding to fix a knee. They may have the knowledge, but someone who is an expert in the knee would be far better equipped.
When you’re facing your first divorce, you want someone on your team who knows the ins and outs of divorce law, and has practice winning cases for their clients. When you seek legal advice, be sure to look for an attorney who specializes in divorce proceedings.
- Who Will Be Handling My Case?
It may seem as though hiring the biggest law firm in your area is the best way to win your case. But before you sign anything, ask this important question.
When you meet with an attorney in person or talk over the phone, this question might seem out of place. However, don’t assume that the lawyer you’re speaking with is who will actually be handling the details of your case.
In some firms, non-attorneys may actually be the ones handling most of the work. While they may be good at their job, they aren’t lawyers. They lack the knowledge and experience that an attorney has.
It is normal for paralegals to handle some tasks. But it’s a good idea to clarify how much they’ll handle before you choose to work with a firm. This will allow you to make a more informed decision about who you’ll trust to handle your case.
- What are the Typical Rulings in a Case Like Mine?
It’s impossible to predict exactly how a court will rule on a case ahead of time. However, if a divorce attorney is experienced, he or she will be able to tell you about typical results in cases that share similar details to your own.
This question is two-fold. First, it lets you know whether or not an attorney has experience handling cases like yours.
If they cannot answer the questions, they may not have handled many divorce cases, or cases with unique details like yours. Having that experience can make a big difference when it comes to presenting your case in court.
This question also helps you to be realistic about the potential outcome of your case.
- How Will I be Charged?
Like determining the final outcome of a court case, it’s also impossible to say exactly what a divorce will cost. There are a variety of factors that go into the final cost, and those factors may change frequently throughout the case.
Unexpected delays to court proceedings, for instance, can increase costs but won’t be obvious ahead of time.
But while an attorney won’t be able to tell you what you’ll spend, he or she can tell you how they charge.
Many divorce attorneys charge by the hour. Some don’t charge for certain things though, like phone calls or time spent sending you an email. There is no right answer, but it is important to be informed of what you’ll be paying for ahead of time.
Of course, if you’re worried about being charged for every second of an attorneys time, you can always opt for a lawyer that charges an all-inclusive fee for a quick divorce. Check out https://ephraimlaw.com/ to learn more.
- How Will We Communicate and How Often?
Communication, or rather the lack thereof, is one of the leading causes of divorce. Communicating with your attorney is just as important in saving your divorce case from disaster.
Make sure to ask how you’ll be communicating, and how often.
Some clients may feel more comfortable chatting over the phone, while others prefer email. Ask about your options, and don’t forget to ask how you’ll be charged for these communications.
Another question to ask is how often your attorney will reach out. You might want to be informed of every new development. Or you may prefer to only hear about major developments.
If you have a preference, check to see whether an attorney can accomodate your requests. If not, they may not be the right choice for you.
Asking the Right Questions Before You Start a Divorce
Before you choose an attorney and start a divroce, it’s important to get informed. Asking the right questions can help with that.
For more advice like this on navigating divorce and other legal cases, check out the rest of our blog.