Divorce is never easy. The question is, do you want to make things easier or harder for yourself?
Hiring a divorce lawyer that works for you can make the difference between those two options.
Luckily, you have a good amount of choices. With 40% to 50% of marriages in the United States ending in divorce, the need for good lawyers is real.
The question is, how do you find the best option? You start by asking the right questions.
Keep reading to learn 10 questions you need to ask before picking your divorce lawyer.
1. Do You Specialize in Divorces?
Not all attorneys are general lawyers. They have the option to specialize in specific fields of law.
When you hire a divorce lawyer, try to find someone that specializes in divorce cases.
Hiring someone who has the sole job of helping people through this rough time can increase your chances of getting a successful resolution.
In some cases, a lawyer may obtain their specialty later in their career. If so, how long have they specialized in divorce cases?
2. How Will I Be Billed?
There’s no way around it. When you hire a divorce lawyer, you may end up spending a lot of money.
But this doesn’t mean you need to pay more than you need to.
Before you retain a divorce lawyer’s services, ask them how they will bill your case.
Some lawyers will bill by the hour. If you expect a lengthy divorce, then these costs can add up.
Others will offer a single payment for the process. These cases are usually open and shut. If you want your divorce over and done with, this may be the right choice.
3. Who Will Be Working on My Case?
You see ads for lawyers everywhere. They make it seem like a person is the best, and they are the person you need to work your case.
The problem is, that doesn’t always happen. Lawyers spend a lot of ad dollars to get a lot of clients. The chances are they don’t have the time to handle everything themselves.
When this happens, they pass the work to someone else in their firm or another lawyer. Make sure you know who will represent you before you sign any contracts.
4. What Are My Responsibilities?
Every lawyer is different. Some will hold your hand through the whole divorce process. Others will have you do a lot of the grunt work yourself.
Decide how much you want to be involved with the process so you can find a lawyer that fits your needs.
If you choose someone that does everything for you, then chances are you will be paying more money.
If you decide to do a lot of the work yourself, you should be able to save some cash. When your lawyer has less work to do on your case, they won’t charge you as much.
5. Do You Have References?
It’s important to know that a lawyer is good. Sure, someone can tell you that they have a history of winning.
It’s a different story when they can introduce you to people who they’ve helped.
Before hiring someone, ask to be introduced to past clients. If they are willing to do this, you can get a first-hand account of what it’s like to work with a specific lawyer.
You can learn about the good and bad working with someone.
6. How Will We Communicate?
It’s essential to hire someone that will be receptive to your needs.
Some lawyers may want to keep their heads down to get the job done. Others may keep you informed about everything that happens during the process.
Decide which type of lawyer you want to work with.
You want to learn how they like to communicate, their response time, and reports that they give through the divorce process.
7. What Will Your Strategy Be?
Every case is unique, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a roadmap you can follow through the divorce process.
Your divorce lawyer should have a sound strategy available for you when meeting. Have them walk you through their process so you can see if it works for you.
After learning your lawyer strategies, you need to compare it with your own goals. Divorces can be tough, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t come out of it with a good outcome.
Your lawyer should have a plan that gets you what you want.
Read more now about potential outcomes that can happen in a divorce.
8. Have You Been in Trouble?
You’d think that all lawyers would have an upstanding record. They practice law, right?
Sadly, that’s not true. Some lawyers will bend the rules and get in trouble.
Before you hire someone, ask them about any past problems they’ve had. You can find this information elsewhere, but it’s good to know if a lawyer will tell you when asked about it.
A past problem shouldn’t completely disqualify someone completely, but it can make you think twice about hiring someone.
9. Do You See Any Problems With My Case?
Things don’t always go as planned. If you don’t hire someone that can foresee potential problems, you may need to look elsewhere.
Ask your potential lawyer about problems they see with your case.
If any problems could negatively affect you, then you need to learn about them beforehand.
Having a lawyer with foresight is something you shouldn’t overlook.
10. Have You Worked With the Opposing Lawyer Before
There’s something to be said about working with someone in the past. You know how they work, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
If you hire someone that has a history of winning against a particular lawyer, it would be wise to invest in their services.
But it goes the other way too. Your lawyer may have a history of losing to another lawyer. In this case, it may be better to find someone else.
Don’t Jump Into Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
Going through a divorce is hard enough. When you go through one with a bad lawyer, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
Make sure you do your research when hiring a divorce lawyer so you can find someone that will help you through the process successfully.
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