Questions You Should Ask Your Divorce Attorney

Posted in Divorce on March 31, 2017

When two people decide to end their marriage, the proceedings can be expensive, tearful and downright confusing. Each state, while mostly similar, has different laws about how assets are divided, custody is awarded and compensation is determined. So what should you ask your lawyer about your divorce?

Meeting With Your Attorney

Any information, even that which you feel is barely relevant to your divorce, should be brought to your initial consultation. This will help your attorney assess your situation, and will help you know the right questions to ask. Universal questions which should always be asked include:

  • Do you specialize in divorce law, or is it just an additional part of your practice?
  • What is your case history? Have you handled cases similar to mine in the past?
  • Will anyone else in your office be working on my case? If so, can I meet them?
  • What is your rate?
    • This could involve numerous things and lead to many follow-up questions. You’ll want to know if they charge hourly rate, require a retainer, and exactly what they charge for meetings with other lawyers or paralegals. If expert witnesses are necessary, what will that charge be? Use these questions as a means of calculation, because everyone wants to know what the final line will be.
  • What do you project the total cost of my divorce will be?
  • The lawyer you choose should have intimate knowledge with divorce law as it pertains to the state in which you reside. Ask about alimony laws, child support and custody laws, asset laws, and anything else which may apply to you.
  • Divorce attorneys often see the same judges multiple times, so they may be able to predict how the judge will react to your case. Ask how they believe the judge will rule on your case.
  • What is your overall strategy? How will you protect my assets and attempt to keep my costs down?
  • How can I contact you directly in case of an urgent matter?

Every divorce situation is different. Children, commingled assets, bank accounts, retirement funds, restraining orders; any and all which may exist can vastly affect the outcome and the judge’s decision of how to divide everything. Your lawyer will be able to develop an effective strategy for how to proceed based on the circumstances of your divorce.

The amount of paperwork, necessary records and negotiation involved in a divorce can be complex, but if you’re willing to compromise with your spouse and hire the right attorney, the proceedings can move forward without too much hassle. Going through a divorce can be an emotional time, but if you approach everything as logically as you can, you’ll have more thorough questions for your attorney who will then be able to ensure a smooth process.