Going through a divorce can be a trying experience for many individuals. For some, the experience can be overwhelming when you factor in the emotional distress that divorce brings, the financial burden so often associated with divorce, and the legal requirements, which are sometimes directly tied to the emotional distress experienced. To help lessen the burden, make sure that you hire a family law attorney that is experienced, and successful, and will commit him or herself to your case. The following are five questions that may help you determine when you have a good family law attorney.
1.) Ask the lawyer if he or she has experience relevant to your case. Has he or she handled divorce proceedings involving custody battles, child support or spousal support questions, or other unique circumstances? Some have extensive financial concerns that must be sorted out in the divorce process as well. There is hardly a substitute for experience, so hiring an attorney with relevant experience to your case can be extremely beneficial.
2.) Ask the attorney how they typically handle a divorce case. Do they go the mediation route or are most of their cases handled in court? This is also a good time to ask about the different types of divorce available and to get advice on each.
3.) Building off of the previous question, ask if the lawyer is a trained mediator or if they are trained in collaborative law.
4.) Ask whether the attorney you are speaking with will be responsible for negotiating the terms of the divorce or if another lawyer in the firm will be responsible. It is always good to know who will be representing you and sometimes the only way to know for sure is to simply ask the question.
5.) Finally, ask if there are any ancillary services you may need such as accounting, other financial services, private investigators, etc. You’ll also want to inquire about the fees associated with these services and, of course, the fees associated with the lawyer handling your divorce case. Also, ask if any other fees have not been mentioned in your discussion.
During your initial consultation, don’t be shy about asking questions. Treat it as a sort of interview so that you walk out of their office feeling like you have a good idea of how they will handle your case and what you should expect throughout the process.