Divorce is no easy process and must be handled by a professional with proper care and significance to both the separating partners. It thus becomes imperative that you hire experienced family law and divorce lawyers to settle the case with adequate attention to all aspects of complaints and concerns.
#1. Do you specialize in divorce law/ family law?
It’s better that you allow a specialist to handle your case than a rookie or a fresher. Divorce lawyers particularly excel in understanding the anguish, temper, and turbulence of the matter and will try to help you make sense of all the chaos—physical, mental, and social—that comes with filing for a divorce.
#2. What is your strategy for my case? An opposing lawyer?
For an answer to this one, an able attorney will tell you the legal procedures and the estimated time it may take. Ask if they’ve worked against an opposing lawyer before. Then, they will explain the various strategies they’d employ to make the case a successful and fair one. This will help you gain an insight into the process and the intellect of the lawyer and see if you are comfortable with the path the attorney is choosing to take.
#3. What is the fee structure?
The lawyer will not quote an exact amount—it’s rather impossible to since the intricacies of law are many. They’ll still quote a rough estimate and for what services the amount applies to, which you can evaluate on. Be wary of people who quote very specific amounts though—the amount quoted must also line up with the procedure answered in the previous question.
#4. Who will be representing me?
Sometimes the work of handling a divorce case is given to the younger associates or paralegals; question your attorney on which paralegal will be working on the case and what their experience is about the case and divorce/family law. Ask if you can make acquaintances with them to stay an active participant in the process.
#5. What to expect with regards to communication?
Communicating and having your lawyer keep you updated with the proceedings of the case is important. Ask how often and through what means your lawyer will get in touch with you. When you want to speak to them, how are you getting in touch with your lawyer? How long will it take to return to your concerns? Ask them.
#6. Any Additional Costs?
A divorce case will have additional charges dedicated to psychologists, physicians, forensic accountants, and private investigators, etc. Make sure that you hear an estimated figure on these costs too and how you will be charged for them and in what process. Ask about the intervals and time increments in which you need to pay.
#7. What about References and Trouble?
Look into the history of the lawyer and upon meeting, ask if you can be introduced to their past clients to ascertain their trustworthiness. As such, while looking into the past, ask them if they’ve ever been in trouble with the bar association. It is not a measure of disqualification—but it can help you understand the attorney’s honesty.
#8. How does the Division of Assets take place?
This lines up with the strategy of the lawyer about the case. Few things to ask about are:
- Receiving and giving alimony or spousal support
- The decision about child custody
- Process of dividing marital assets
- Negotiating directly with your spouse
#9. Any Foreseeable Problems?
Ask your lawyer what problems they see that may become obstacles in you winning the case. Keeping in mind all the estimates, your goals, the strategies, etc. you’ve come to know about from the attorney, seek input about the things that can go wrong. If your lawyer isn’t able to analyze them accordingly and inform you about the same, then you need to look for another lawyer.
#10. What are the Terms of Tax
The verdict will impact your tax responsibilities. Based on the insight about the outcome, ask your lawyer what tax effects will arise due to the decisions you’ve made.
Trust your gut and choose the lawyer you most trust in and see potential and capability in. Keep in mind these questions for a solid start-off.