Divorce can be one of the most stress-inducing times in a person’s life. Besides the grief from a failed marriage, there is the overwhelming legal process to navigate. A process that is almost impossible without adequate legal advice.
But where do you get this legal advice? And how do you know your legal counsel is competent?
There are three separate areas of questions to ask before hiring legal counsel in a divorce case. They are: questions regarding the law firm itself; questions regarding your individual case; and questions regarding the costs of your case.
Questions regarding the attorney and the law firm:
- How much experience does the attorney have in family law?
- Does the attorney specialize in family law, or does he/she merely “dabble” in this area of the law?
- What about the associate attorneys and other employees of the firm, what experience do they have in family law? May I meet with the ones who will be handling my case before I agree to have you represent me?
- How do I get in contact with you in case of an emergency?
Questions regarding the merits of my specific case:
- What is your strategy for presenting my case?
- How long do you think it will take to complete my case?
- Do you see any specific problem areas in my case?
- What do you want me to do to assist you in handling my case?
- How do you want me to handle financial issues, including possible tax issues?
Questions regarding the monetary costs of my case:
- What are your hourly rates?
- What are the hourly rates for your associates and/or other employees (e.g. paralegals, etc)?
- Are there any additional charges I can expect (such as filing fees and other court costs)?
- Does my case need other professionals, e.g. psychologists, private investigators, etc. that will increase the cost of my case?
- What can I do to keep my costs down without damaging my case?
Although it may seem more expensive to hire someone who specializes in family law than to hire “just any ole’ attorney”, in the long run, you will save money by having someone competent who foresees problem areas and knows how to deal with them. Otherwise, you may end paying an hourly wage for someone to learn on-the-job how to deal with your case.