4 Questions To Ask When Choosing an Attorney To Handle Your Divorce Case
If you are divorcing your spouse, you’ll need a reliable and effective attorney in your corner who can guide you through your case, explain your legal options, and provide compassionate representation. This means you’ll need to search for divorce attorneys in your area and interview those who stand out from the crowd. But before you start scheduling appointments, you need to know which questions to ask so you can weed out the inexperienced and unqualified attorneys from those who can actually help win your case.
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Question #1: How Do They Respond to Their Client’s Needs?
Lawyers aren’t therapists, but their ability to listen to and respond to your concerns will heavily impact your experience and whether you’re satisfied with their overall service. While some lawyers are better than others when it comes to helping clients with the emotional aspects of divorce, their compassion might not be very useful if the case goes to court or you need to negotiate a settlement.
When you’re in the middle of a divorce, it can be difficult to think rationally and logically as you face various challenges during the legal process, so you really need an attorney who can answer questions with direct advice, regardless of your emotional state. If a lawyer caters too much to their client’s emotional concerns, the client might become too influenced by their feelings and end up making concessions or decisions they later regret after the divorce is finalized.
When you interview divorce attorneys, ask the following questions to find out the specific things they do to help their clients put emotion aside so they can objectively identify their goals and make smart decisions.
Question #2: Can They Clearly Explain Their Price & Payment Structure?
According to Forbes, the average divorce cost in the U.S. is between $15,000 and $20,000. Additionally, factors like the complexity of your finances and child custody issues can heavily impact what a divroce attorney charges for their services. So you need to get a straight answer when you ask an attorney how much it costs to represent you.
Although divorce attorneys tend to charge hourly rates for legal fees, some might use flat rate billing if the divorce is uncontested, while others might offer alternative payment options available for clients. Whether you choose a larger practice or single practitioner to handle your case will also affect how much you spend on legal fees.
If the lawyer you are consulting with can’t give you clear answers to the following questions, then keep searching around for a better one.
Question #3: How Do They Generally Approach Similar Cases?
Even though you probably want to avoid your divorce going to court, that might not be feasible if your spouse is unwilling to compromise or your attorney’s gameplan is too aggressive. That’s why you need to probe prospective divorce attorneys about what they have done in the past to succeed in similar cases.
While some attorneys take a cutthroat approach and pursue everything their client is entitled to under the law, others advocate for a collaborative approach to divroce that allows ex-spouses to remain civil and stay out of the courtroom.
Ask the following questions to learn more about the lawyer’s tendencies and go-to strategies for divorce cases.
Question #4: How Often Will We Discuss My Case?
Communication between attorneys and their clients is essential to building a strong case and strategizing for negotiations and courtroom appearances. An experienced divorce attorney should be able to explain and quickly answer questions about their communication style, preferences, and how frequently they will need to speak to you about your case.
Ask these questions to determine if the attorney proactively communicates with clients.
The consequences of divorce are life changing, so you need to take your time interviewing different attorneys. Don’t rush through the process simplyto get a step ahead of your spouse. You need to carefully assess each attorney, ask ALL of the questions mentioned above, and make sure you feel comfortable with their personality and the case strategy they present. When you make your final decision, go with the attorney you believe will approach your case with integrity and fiercely advocate for the best outcome.