5 Fundamental Things To Ask Before Hiring Divorce Lawyer
Are you looking for a divorce attorney but do not know what to ask before hiring one? Assuming you have found one or more members of the bar that fit the bill, your next step should see you making plans for consultative meeting that will help determine if the lawyer is the best better for your case. The selection process can prove stressful, but things can be easier if you are armed with several crucial questions to ask the divorce attorney.
1. Do You Only Handle Divorce And Family Law Cases?
In most cases, lawyers can major in different areas of law. As such, it is possible for the attorney and the staff to be fully dedicated to the divorce case because of the many different areas of law the practice major in. Understand that a divorce lawyer is a lawyer like any other in this profession. However, there is the need to consider specialization.
For instance, take a physical health practitioner and a heart surgeon; both work in the same profession – medical health. However, would you settle for a general physical health practitioner if you are scheduled to have heart surgery or would you settle for the experienced and best-suited heart surgeon? Similarly, you cannot hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you in your divorce case. Also, even the lawyers that major in divorce and family law need to specialize in specific areas, so inquire about the particular areas of their practice to ensure the attorney you choose can meet your needs and expectations.
2. How Many Years Have You Practiced Divorce And Family Law?
An attorney may have several years to is name practicing law, but what you should strive to find out is the number of years the lawyer has practiced as a divorce attorney. The idea behind asking this question is to find out the litigation-driven experience as opposed to just a general outlook of it all. If the lawyer has substantial years of family law experience, find out many of those years include handling cases not indirectly related to family law.
Why such line of questioning? Well, it is because you need to be sure that you have a litigator on your side. A lawyer experienced with matters, such as preparing the paperwork to be presented or filed in court, setting the stage for a hearing (law and motion), handle formal requests for information (discovery), and has enough experience with trials in the courtroom.
3. Who Will Handle My Case?
You are in need of good representation, that is a fact, but you are not sure of how the divorce case will be handled. You should inquire about how your case will be handled and how tasks related to your case will be delegated. If you are to work with an attorney that works solo, you should ensure that he or she does not have other cases on his or her plate. Otherwise, the attorney may be spread pretty thin dealing with several cases at a time in different courtrooms and thus may fail to give you the proper representation that sees you win your case.
It thus is an issue that should make you consider the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a solo practitioner or a lawyer who has a reputable practice with enough support staff. If you settle for the latter, ask if the task will be delegated, to who and how. Also, ensure that divorce attorney does not heavily rely on staff that is not a part of his or her practice.
4. How Specifically Will I Be Charged?
You need to know the much it will cost you for the services render before you hire. Do not hire a divorce lawyer that does not answer this question. Be wary of lawyers that charge a flat fee because of the different issues that may arise in your divorce case such as having to make more than one court appearance. You do not want to make payments only to discover that what you paid is insufficient to cover the services you need.
Most divorce and family law practitioner and any other attorney charge per the hour. Therefore, know the hourly rate, how and when you are expected to pay, and the initial deposit (if required), and how often you will get your bill. Make sure that you get retainer agreement in writing stipulating the hourly rate and the billing of the fees. Also, ask if the retainer deposit replenishment (in full or in part) is necessary.
5. How Will You Communicate With Me About The Case?
You expect to get much of the information you need to know about your case or hear it from your divorce attorney. Therefore, you want to hear someone with good communication skill. A lawyer that will contact you as soon as they get relevant updates and will return your call or even email you. The chances of winning any case are better when you have an attorney that has excellent communication skills. The more you can share and stay informed the better the chances of addressing any new developments that arise late in the proceedings that can dent your chances of winning the divorce case.
Read more about the things to discuss with your divorce lawyer in our next article.
06.04.2018 11:08 What Should You Expect From Your Lawyer?
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