Going through a divorce can be a difficult and painful process. It’s made even worse by the fact that most people aren’t emotionally or financially ready to handle what’s ahead – even if they are the ones filing for divorce from their spouse. Nonetheless, finding the right divorce attorney is an absolutely critical decision, and one you don’t want to put off any longer than you have to.
With the right divorce lawyer on your side, you can stand a good chance of achieving a fair resolution and protecting that which you are legally entitled to. With the wrong divorce lawyer, however, you could find yourself in the midst of a long struggle that leaves you dealing with unintended consequences for the rest of your life.
Because this is such an enormous decision, it’s important that you do the right kinds of research. Here are three questions to ask a divorce lawyer before you hire them:
How many clients have you represented as a divorce lawyer in the past?
Although experience isn’t everything, it’s important for your divorce lawyer to have a sense of the way things work, and several past cases to draw lessons and insights from. Additionally, having a divorce lawyer with lots of experience allows you to take a closer look at their previous track record and see what they’ve been able to achieve for other clients in the past.
There isn’t any set amount of experience that’s perfect for a divorce lawyer, but be careful working with anyone who hasn’t been practicing for at least a few years or more. Given that the outcome of the proceedings will affect you, your finances, and your family for a very long time, you probably don’t want to entrust the job to someone without a little history behind them.
Who is your perfect client?
Because divorce is such a personal and multifaceted process, there are divorce attorneys who specialize in different types of cases, situations, and even clients. And so, the chances are very good that you could find a divorce lawyer in your area who has helped lots of other people who were in a situation similar to yours in the past.
Ask about your divorce lawyer’s perfect client, because the answer will tell you what sort of situations they are most familiar with – and the ones where they are most likely to get the results you are hoping for. Also, ask your attorney how you can help and what types of things you can do to assist in the process. You should be able to have input and control into your own case. This will save you attorneys fees and give you greater satisfaction with the end result. Your attorney should welcome your assistance and your input. After all, it is your life and you have to live with the results.
How will you handle my case?
Depending on the reputation, schedule, and experience of your divorce lawyer, he or she may maintain a very small staff with a couple of executive assistants, or a very large one with several junior attorneys in the office. Neither of those is necessarily better, but it is good to find out from the outset how much of your case will be handled personally by your divorce lawyer, and how much will be assigned to other members of the team.
You should ask your attorney how they will communicate with you, what you should expect in terms of procedure and how things work in general. You should also ask how quickly your attorney can respond to your questions and/or what happens if they are in court or you can’t get in touch with them. Communication is key and you need to know up front how this will be handled.
Lastly, you should find out if your attorney will work cooperatively with the other party or his or her attorney or if they plan on litigating from the beginning. You should decide the answer to this question – not your attorney. Everyone has different expectations in their divorce and how they want their case to be handled. Your attorney is working for you and in your best interest. Sometimes what you want is not necessarily in your best interests, however, and you should feel comfortable listening to your attorney’s advice on this.
Even the most amicable divorces are rarely easy, from a legal standpoint or an emotional one. For that reason, you need to have the right divorce lawyer on your side.
If you have questions about the divorce process, or just want to meet with a divorce lawyer call us at 414-258-1644 to set up a free initial consultation today. You can also visit our website for more information.