Going through a divorce is hardly ever smooth sailing. It’s a difficult and stressful time for everyone involved.
Even if you’re the one filing for divorce, the process can be emotional and overwhelming. You shouldn’t try to handle it alone.
A skilled divorce attorney can help you navigate the many challenges of divorce. Before you meet with a divorce attorney, it’s a good idea to have a list of questions in mind. This will help you learn about the process and what you can expect.
Here are 7 questions to ask before you hire an attorney.
1. What Experience Do You Have?
You want to choose a divorce attorney who has plenty of experience handling divorce cases. Although divorce may not be the only area of law they practice, they should have relevant experience handling divorce cases in and out of the courtroom.
Find out how many years they’ve practiced family law and if they specialize in divorce. If you have children, divorce is more complicated.
You may have to face child support and custody issues, and you need an attorney with experience in these matters. Don’t hesitate to ask about their education, years of experience, typical cases, and courtroom experience.
With so much at stake, you want to be sure you’ve hired the right divorce lawyer for the job.
2. What Will the Divorce Process Be Like?
If you’ve never experienced a divorce, you may be unsure about the process. Some divorces are more complicated than others.
A contentious divorce can be very emotional and stressful. If one spouse refuses to comply, the process can become even more complicated.
Most divorces follow a similar pattern. Some take longer because of the issues involved. Divorces may quickly wrap up if the couple reaches a mutual agreement.
Others may drag on with weeks, months, or even years of litigation. It’s important to know what types of issues you may face.
Some common divorce issues include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Child visitation
- Spousal support
- Dividing assets and debts
- Dividing property
Parents have to make tough decisions when it comes to divorce. If you’re facing divorce, it’s in your best interest to have a skilled divorce lawyer by your side every step of the way.
3. How Much Will It Cost?
Talking about attorney fees is not the most pleasant topic, but it’s an important one to have. Attorney fees can vary.
That’s why you should be clear about an attorney’s fee structure from the start. This will help you make an informed decision as you weigh your options.
You can ask about the attorney’s retainer, hourly fees, and other possible charges. A reputable attorney will be happy to answer your questions and should be transparent about the fees they charge.
4. What Do I Need to Provide?
Meeting with a divorce attorney the first time can be a bit overwhelming. It’s important to know what types of documents they need to get your case underway.
The attorney will let you know the steps you need to take. They may want you to gather documents such as income statements, tax records, past legal documents, a list of debts, and more.
Think about what you hope to gain from your divorce and share this with the attorney. You should feel comfortable communicating with your attorney and sharing any questions or concerns.
5. How Will We Communicate?
Find out who will handle your case and how they will communicate with you. You should ask how often you can expect to receive an update on your case.
Will they email, call, text, video chat, or meet with you in person? Consider the location of the law firm and what is best for you as well.
Be sure to ask about the best way to get in touch with your divorce attorney. If you have questions or concerns, they should respond in a timely manner.
6. Will I Have to Go to Court?
Once your attorney understands the details of your case, they should be able to explain your chances of going to court. Generally, you will appear in court for the initial divorce proceeding.
Whether you will need to go to court during the divorce process depends on the complexities of your case. If there is an uncontested divorce, you may not need to appear in court at all.
If you have a child, the process can become more complicated. When facing a custody battle or financial dispute, you may face more time in court.
Talk with your divorce attorney about your case. Ask how long the entire process should take and whether you will need to go to court.
7. What Outcome Can I Expect?
Although no attorney can guarantee an outcome, they should be able to give you a general idea about what you can expect. They can help you understand your rights, the complexities of your case, and what you should expect during your divorce process.
Your attorney can help you define your expectations and where you may need to compromise. The ultimate goal is to help you navigate your divorce and move ahead to a better and brighter future.
Find the Best Divorce Attorney for You
Divorce is never easy. It’s one of the most difficult situations anyone can face.
It’s so important to have a knowledgeable and caring divorce attorney by your side. If you need to hire a lawyer, knowing the right questions to ask can help you make the most of your time and find the right attorney for you.
If you’re facing a divorce or custody battle, Cronin Law Firm can help. Our goal is to help our clients resolve their legal matters while making a positive and lasting impact on their lives.
Contact Cronin Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.