Whether you are just thinking about divorce or are already on the search for the right divorce attorney, there are a few key things you need to know before making your selection. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable with this person as you are going to be trusting them with all the details of your life. Even you have received rave reviews from the internet and family or friends, it is still essential that you do your due diligence in researching your attorney options. Below are some questions that you need to ask anyone who will potentially become your divorce attorney.
- Do you specialize in divorces, or, on the other hand, are divorces only one part of your practice?
- How long have you been practicing family law, also, how many cases have you personally handled?
- How long do you take to return phone calls or emails? What is the best way to get ahold of you in case of an emergency? How do you define an emergency?
- Will anyone else in the office be working on my case? If so, can I meet them? What is their experience level?
- Can you give me an estimate of the total cost of the divorce? What costs, other than attorney fees and court costs, should I expect to pay? How can I keep the cost of this divorce down?
- What do you anticipate next steps to be after this meeting?
- What can I expect the divorce process to look like? How long do you anticipate the whole process to take?
- How often will be communicating with each other, also, how will that communication take place?
- What communication can I have with my ex? On what communication should I refer my ex to you?
- How will you keep my files and information secure? How can I have access to my files?
- Are there any portions of my file that I am not able to view?
- What references do you have? Additionally, can I speak with former clients for testimonials?
- Do I need to be at every court hearing? If someone can appear in court on my behalf, who is that person?
- What are things that my ex may do to make the divorce take longer? What might my ex do to drive up the cost of the divorce?
- Hearing the details of my case, how do you think the court would rule in my case? How does the court typically rule in these circumstances?
- Should I move out of the family home? On the other hand, should I ask that my spouse move out?
- Are there any temporary orders that I should seek while the divorce plays out? Child custody? Child support or spousal support?
- How much could I expect to receive in child support? Spousal support?
- Can child support or spousal support be modified at any time?
- Can I request that my ex pay for my attorney fees?
- How will I review and approve any settlement offers as they come?
- What does the negotiation process entail?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, only the top questions to ask a divorce attorney, so do your research. While you are speaking with the attorney, some of these questions will likely lead you to more questions. Remember that this person will be responsible for handling all of your personal information, details, files, everything, so it is extremely important that you understand and feel comfortable with letting them into the minutiae of your life and marriage.