Planning For a Divorce

How to Choose the Right Divorce Attorney

Preparation is the key to any successful venture. If you want to reach a sound resolution in your divorce case, you need a knowledgeable and powerful ally on your side. Finding the right attorney for your case is important and takes time. There are many hassles when going through a divorce and finding the right attorney can help you avoid these headaches while hiring the wrong attorney can make a bad situation worse. Finding the right legal representation is often the difference between a resolution you can happily live with and one that costs you for years to come.

Before hiring a divorce attorney, learn the basics of divorce law and find suitable attorneys in your area. After you have narrowed down your list you should interview each attorney and ask what his or her strategy would be for your case. It is important that you find an attorney that will be a good fit for your case before you agree to hire the attorney.

The following questions are a great starting point for finding a firm that will best assist you with your case. While this is only a guide, you need to be sure to ask questions that concern you and your issues. It is important to obtain all of the information you need before you hire a firm to represent you. An attorney-client relationship can be like a dating a relationship – if you don’t like the attorney and cannot get your questions answered, chances you will need be able to achieve the results you want.

Questions to Ask The Attorney

  1. Do you practice in the area of family law? Attorneys often practice many areas of law. While it may be difficult to find an attorney that only focuses their practice on family law, it is imperative to find an attorney who is familiar with the statutes, case law and procedural aspects of the practice. This can be the difference between a case that resolves quickly with a peaceful resolution and a case that drags on while the attorney learns on the job.
  2. Who will be working on my case and what experience do they have?
  3. How do I communicate with your office? How long do you normally need to return a phone call or an email? What if I have an emergency?

Questions to Ask About Your Case

  1. After hearing my side of the story, how long do you think my case will take before I am divorced? What is your plan for my case?
  2. Based on what you know about my case and the judge, how do you think my case will resolve?
  3. What can I expect after the divorce is finalized? Will I need to go back to Court?

Questions to Ask About Attorney’s Fees and Costs

  1. Based on what you know about my case, how much do expect this will cost? Keep in mind that it is very difficult to estimate a total price for a divorce. As a result, some attorneys may not want to answer this question. However, a reputable divorce attorney should be able to give you a price range for what a typical divorce, like yours, could cost. An attorney that gives you a surprisingly low number might be too good to be true.
  2. What options do you offer for payments towards my divorce? Do I need to pay a retainer and if so, what is your hourly rate?
  3. In addition to fees, what other costs should I expect? Additional charges could include experts such as physicians, psychologists, evaluators for drugs and alcohol, the costs of drug test and alcohol testing, forensic accounts and even office expenses such as copies and postage.
  4. How can I help keep costs down?

While it may seem like a large investment, hiring a reputable and knowledgeable divorce attorney can actually save you time and money in the long run. The questions above should not come as a surprise to a divorce lawyer and a good attorney should be able to answer them with ease.

After you’ve made your decision to hire a divorce attorney, follow up often and continue to ask about the strategy he or she originally discussed with you. Make sure your lawyer sticks to the plan, or if the plan changes, make sure your divorce attorney discusses it with you. Communication is key to any successful relationship.