Questions To Ask Divorce Lawyers Before Hiring
If you are currently going through a rough divorce and need an attorney to relay on, take enough time to find the right one for you case – don’t be in a rush to hire the very first of the divorce lawyers you find. Finding the right attorney to handle your case through your divorce is of utmost importance in order to be able to move forward.
If you get a recommendation for a specific lawyer from, for example, a friend or other lawyer, you still need to be sure of his qualifications, and check how much experience this specific lawyer has in these type of cases.
There are many types of lawyers and most of them introduce themselves as family or divorce lawyers, for example. However, it should be noted that family law is a state-by-state specialty, covering many complex legal issues, which require a lot of time and practice to master.
Within the field of family law, there are many other specialties, such as international custody and guardianship.
If your case is simple, with minimal financial issues and no kids are involved, you could hire a less experienced family lawyer. In such cases you may not need a very experienced or specialized lawyer, which will help you cut down on expenses. That said, if your case is complex enough and involves substantial financial assets, complex financial issues, or custody disputes, you will need an experienced, skilled lawyer that specializes in this field and has enough experience with the specific problems involved in these type of cases.
There are some important questions you should consider asking when you first meet your divorce lawyer. These questions might be of help to you when determining whether or not this lawyer is the right choice for your specific case.
1. Is he specialized in divorce law or are divorce cases just part of his practice? How long has he been working in family law? How many cases has he handled? Is he a certified lawyer with an official specialization?
2. What is his strategy or how will he handle your case? How long will he need to resolve your specific case?
3. How long does it take him to return your calls? This may not seem like a big deal, but it says a lot about the level of service you can expect. And you never know when you’ll find yourself in a dire situation, at which point you will want to be able to rely on your lawyer.
4. Is there any other lawyer in his office that will be working on your case? Is he experienced enough? Is is possible to have an interview with him?
5. How much he will charge you? What is his hourly fee? Does he charge for time spent with paralegals or with his secretaries? And if that is the case, how much will this cost? What is his fee up front?
6. What other fees will you have to pay?
7. What is the total fee that will have to be paid for my case? Do not expect a clear answer; most divorce lawyers will not give a clear answer for this question because the total cost of the divorce case relies on many different factors. A fair estimate is what you should expect of a good and honest lawyer, though.
8. Does he allow you to talk directly with your partner? How can you lower the cost of your divorce case? Is there anything you can do to decrease the total costs?
9. What does he expect the ruling to be in your particular case? And on what does he base this expectation? What is the success ratio of all his previous cases?
10. Did he handle similar cases before?
There are many great divorce lawyers out there, so never give up hope simply because you met a few rotten apples. Take a realistic look at your case and try to find a lawyer with the same goals and perspectives. This will make it infinitely easier to achieve a satisfactory result for all parties involved.
In the end, all you want is a fair solution and a not too hostile resolution of your marriage. A great lawyer can help you do just that. All you need to do is look.
Things To Consider When Hiring A Divorce Attorney
Legally, divorce is considered termination or dissolution of a marriage in a court or by a legal proceeding. Divorce may be contested or uncontested. In case of contested divorce, the parties are unable to agree on one or more issues whereas in case of uncontested divorce, both the parties agree to all the terms.
In case of a contested divorce, you will need to hire the services of a divorce attorney who will represent you during the divorce proceedings. Choosing the right divorce attorney is extremely important as it will have a huge impact on the divorce proceedings.
While there are a number of lawyers advertising their services as a divorce attorney, there is a lot of difference in the level of service offered by various attorneys. Some of the attorneys are not strong when it comes to knowledge of the divorce law in your state whereas others may not care much about your personal needs or charge too much money for their services.
Here is a brief guide on the things to consider while hiring the services of a divorce attorney.
Different Types of Attorneys
There are many different types of divorce lawyers. There are some lawyers who represent clients of only one gender. They usually advertise that courts discriminate against a specific gender they specialize in. However, it has been observed that the best attorneys usually represent clients of both genders.
Many couples are not aware of the fact that a significant majority of the divorce cases are settled before trial. However, there are attorneys that completely disregard mediation and collaborative law. They do like to talk about settlement. Such attorneys usually do not have the best interests of their client in mind.
On the other hand, many experienced family lawyers try to settle cases instead of going to trial. Trial can get expensive real fast. However, most of the lawyers do not tell their clients this at the start as there is a common misconception that a lawyer who avoids trial is selling out the client. Experience lawyers understand that trails can get real ugly and do not benefit anyone in most of the cases.
There are lawyers who do not specialize in family law but may be able to handle uncomplicated matters. Some general practitioners may also assure you that there is no need to hire a specialist but it is always preferable to hire is lawyer who specializes in family law.
One of the advantages of hiring a specialist is that they always stay current on changes made in the fine points of family law. You may hire the services of a general practitioner in case you live in a small community and are unable to find a specialist in family law. However, it is still recommended to check out specialist in a neighboring area.
When it comes to cost, some of the star lawyers charge anywhere from $300-$500 an hour are for their services and usually, the total cost of the case comes to more than $20,000. However, there are many specialist lawyers who charge much less and offer good representation to their clients.
Another important thing you need to keep in mind is that most of the experienced lawyers will charge you for initial consultation. Lawyers that advertise free initial consultation usually offer a very brief initial consultation.
Before signing the contract with the lawyer, you should find out the hourly rate as well as the upfront retainer. You should also ask the attorney to clearly outline the fee agreement detailing all the costs before signing the contract.
One of the most important factors when it comes to divorce lawyers is that you need to be comfortable discussing your personal matters with the attorney. During the divorce proceedings, you may be required to disclose a lot of personal information and you need to be comfortable sharing that information with the attorney. You should never rush into signing a contract with an attorney before taking a couple of meetings to make sure that the attorney is the right choice for you.
You should also check client testimonials before hiring an attorney. Ask the attorney to give you a list of past clients. It is important that you talk to past clients and ask them about their experience with the attorney. You may also check with the Bar Association of your state to find out if any of the former clients of an attorney have filed any grievances against that attorney.
Overall, you should take your time to find the best divorce lawyer to ensure fair representation within your budget.
Finding a High Quality Family Law Attorney
When it comes to finding the perfect attorney to protect your legal rights, it’s important to always look at the experience of the lawyer in the particular type of cases you need. That means you don’t want to just walk up to the first general practice place you find but do some research to find a quality family law attorney who has experience dealing with the specific legal issues that you are going through.
While there is no one set definition for what makes up a family law attorney, and it is fully possible to find general practice lawyers who dabble in this field (especially in small towns), that doesn’t change the fact that when it is possible you still want an attorney who has the actual courtroom experience you need to properly defend your rights and your point of view, no matter which of these specific areas of family law you need help in.
One important thing to mention here is that in many states an attorney cannot call themselves “specialized” in any one area without a special license. In some states that one specific word just isn’t allowed in advertising period, so don’t assume just because lawyers don’t talk about themselves as specialized means they can’t serve your needs.
A small town general practice attorney who has 30 years of experience, mostly in family law cases, is more than capable of giving you the protection and representation you need to know your interests are well represented. That in court experience matters, and if an attorney has experience and seems to have a special passion for those types of cases or a special fondness for representing families in their time of need, then that’s even better!
Look for law offices or practices that offer a free initial consultation. Not only is this a good idea for budget reasons but it is a good idea because this is a pretty common practice in a lot of areas. Unless you’re meeting with an elite law firm for something like corporate law, most attorneys are going to give you the first initial visit for free and also make sure that they can actually provide you with the services you need.
Family Law Attorneys Can Practice:
– Adoptions & custody
– Emancipated adult cases
– Child support
– Visitation rights
– Legal (court-appointed) counseling
– Property division
– Inheritance & more
Because a family law attorney can practice in so many different areas, you want to know about the experience or comfort a practicing lawyer has in your specific field. Twenty cases handling divorce might be a great yard stick for divorce cases and the alimony, child support, and custody issues that arise with those types of situations but that doesn’t mean they know anything about adoptions, inheritance law, or emancipation procedures. In other words, it pays to have those initial meetings to ask important questions and make sure that you have an attorney who is confident in getting the job done for you.
Searching for References
One of the hardest things to do is search for references. Because of attorney-client confidentiality a word of mouth recommendation for a great attorney is worth gold. They can’t just give out client names without permission, but a little legal research on public court cases can give you a good idea of who seems to win a lot of these cases and that can be a great starting point.
The next step is to ask around. Honestly there are so many family law cases that you should know someone who has experience with an attorney who focuses mostly on family law cases and remember that a bad experience can tell you as much as a good one. Stay away from the bad recommendations and find someone who is truly going to work for you.
There are many choices when it comes to finding good attorneys, and family law is an area of practice that doesn’t have any shortage of participants. The key is to make sure you find a lawyer who knows the laws for your state inside and out, has the experience to back up that book knowledge, and is willing to fight passionately for your custom needs.