Essential Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney in the First Meeting

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Divorce is a critical step of one’s life; which if not handled well can leave bitter imprints on the couples’ minds. It is not something that an individual goes through often, so the entire process is somewhat new and uncomfortable. To save you from the hassle and worry during this situation, it is wise to take an experienced divorce consultation.

This is especially important if you are wealthy or run your own business – don’t trust someone who has never tackled such nuanced financial issues before. Rather, look for a good divorce attorney who has attained specialization in the field and can help you get the best for your situation. You can ask the following questions to ensure that an attorney handles your particular divorce case well.

About General Experience:

  • How long you have been in the same line of business?
  • What is the number of divorce cases you have handled till now?
  • How many of those cases went to trial?
  • Was there any custody, support, large financial settlements involved?
  • How familiar are you with local family court judges and the way they rule?
  • Do you practice collaborative divorce?
  • Do you have experience in the kind of case I am stuck in?
  • Do you know my spouse’s attorney by any chance?
  • Are you open to take on any new clients right now?

About Daily Operations:

  • What are your normal office hours?
  • When are you available to take phone calls and respond to emails?
  • In case of your absence, will your associate assist me?
  • What kind of tasks you would deal with personally?
  • Who else from your firm will be working on my divorce case?
  • What is his or her experience in solving matrimonial issues?
  • Can you arrange a meeting with the people who will be involved in handling my case?
  • When do you usually share copies of paperwork related to the case?

About Case:

  • Do you ask for clients’ opinions before planning a strategy?
  • How will I be kept informed of all developments in my case?
  • What communication should I have with my spouse about the issues you and I discuss?
  • What is your advice on spousal support?
  • What do you suggest – joint custody or sole custody?
  • How will you handle negotiations with my spouse’s attorney?
  • How much will my case cost?
  • Do you foresee any major issues arising in my case? If so, how to be prepared for them?

About Fee Structure:

  • Do you charge a flat or hour-based fee?
  • If hourly, what is your billing rate?
  • Is there a separate fee for going to the court?
  • Do you require any retainer fee for the new clients? If yes, how much is it?
  • How will I track if the retainer fee is used and when it is used up?
  • Are there any fines if I get behind on the bills?
  • Do you charge for phone calls as well?
  • Is there any fee that has to be paid advance? If yes, when?

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