Divorces can be emotionally and psychologically draining. There is a surge of emotions like anger, grief, hurt, anxiety, and fear that you feel. Breaking up itself is hard, and to top it, the court proceedings don’t make it any easier. In such a situation, the only person who can help you get through the process is your divorce lawyer.
How it’s handled can have a lasting impact on your life. It is imperative to seek experienced legal representation. Therefore, choosing the right divorce lawyer is essential. You’re probably thinking, “as if the divorce itself isn’t stressful enough.” Here are some crucial questions you must ask your divorce attorney to know if they are the right fit for your situation.
Question 1 – Do You Specialize In Divorce Cases or Are Divorces A Part of Your Practice?
The answer to this will help you evaluate their focus and devotion to your case. If the lawyer practices other cases too, they probably won’t bring the same level of dedication and specialization as a divorce lawyer who practices only family law. Given a choice, always go for the one specializing in the area of law where you seek help.
Question 2 – What Is Your Experience in Family Law?
Ask them about their experience in handling family law matters. How many divorce cases have they handled, their success rate, etc.? Divorce cases often go for trial, which involves cross-examination, presenting evidence, and preparing arguments. It requires skill and expertise. If an experienced divorce lawyer is handling your case, you can relax.
Question 3 – What is the Fee Structure?
Divorce cases can stretch for years. It is essential to find out how much it would cost you. Of course, one can only give you an estimated figure, but that should be enough to provide you with an idea of the total costs involved. Ask about their fees, do they charge hourly or fixed fees? Do they charge extra for every hearing, if yes, how much? Is there a retainer amount that you need to pay? Unfortunately, every lawyer is different, and there are no fixed rates or rulebook to help you. You will have to ask lawyers such questions to see who fits in your budget.
Question 4 – How would be Case Communication Flow?
Regular communication with the divorce lawyer is crucial. How would they update you about the developments? Will you be in touch with them directly or through their team? What will be the mode of communication? It is important to sort these beforehand to avoid hassles later.
Question 5 – What Does the Procedure Entail?
It is unchartered territory for you, so it always helps know what it involves, the timeline, etc. After hearing your case, the lawyer should be able to give you an idea about the timeline. It depends on a lot of factors.
Divorce proceedings vary from state to state, so the time depends on the state laws, the complications involved, how cooperative you and your spouse are, etc. After checking all facts, the estimated timeline can be given, which will help you prepare yourself better if you have a full-time job, other commitments, or need to sort out your finances.
Question 6 – How Much Would Be the Alimony?
Every state has different laws and regulations concerning alimony. Whether you’re paying or receiving alimony, it is essential to discuss it with your lawyer. Of course, the amount depends on several factors like the length of the marriage, children, earnings, income difference of spouses, tax implications, property possession, etc. Being aware of these factors helps you prepare yourself better.
Question 7 – Will I Get Child Custody?
When you can’t come to a joint decision about child custody with your partner, the matter is taken to court, and proceedings can take longer. Discuss the case with your lawyer.
Ask him how you can challenge the issue or where you should concede to wrap up the process quickly and smoothly. Also, understand the factors considered by judges while deciding which parent should get custody.
Finally, to reiterate, there is no rulebook to follow. Every case is different, and every lawyer is different. These are some questions you should have answers to select the right lawyer to represent your case.
However, if you have other questions that plague your mind, don’t hesitate to ask. You may ask them as many questions as you would like. It’s your life and decision, and you should be in command.