Finding a good divorce lawyer is critical to protecting your rights to children and marital assets. There are thousands of divorce lawyers out there; you need to choose carefully among them to secure the most appropriate divorce representation for you.
On Referrals And Finding A Divorce Lawyer
No doubt you know several people who have been through a divorce in your local area. Each one is sure to have an opinion and the name of a “great divorce lawyer”. But it is not enough to rely on the advice of friends and neighbors.
Referrals are an excellent place to start looking for a divorce lawyer, in addition to the internet and local advertising resources, but you need to go further and do some research of your own. Why? Because your divorce is unique to you and your circumstances and it is essential that you find a divorce lawyer who can represent your needs and best interests. The best advice as referrals go is to choose the person whose experiences most closely match your own, make sure they had a positive outcome, and put their lawyer on your list of possibles, along with two or three others. Then set up an appointment to interview them.
What To Ask At Divorce Lawyer Interviews
Formulate a list of questions before your first meeting with potential divorce lawyers that are both general and unique to your situation. Some things you might want to ask
During the initial call
– Is there a consultation fee?
– What is the lawyer’s hourly fee?
– How busy is the lawyer’s schedule?
About the lawyer’s background
– How long practicing?
– Does lawyer specialize in family/divorce?
– Does lawyer have experience with cases similar to yours? Recently?
– Experience with custody cases?
-Settlement and meditation experience?
– What is lawyer’s style in court and negotiations?
About the particulars of your case
– What strategy is proposed for your case?
– Will lawyer handle your case personally or delegate to an associate? Can you meet him/her?
– How long is your case expected to take?
– What are the tax implications of your settlement? Will help be available as the case progresses to help you determine such?
– Are you allowed to contact/negotiate with your spouse?
– What is lawyer’s prediction of case outcome (realize no guarantees can be made; beware if you are guaranteed anything!)?
About office billing and administration
– What is expected as a retainer? How applied to your billing?
– What hourly rate will you be billed?
– Will you be billed for services of other personnel?
– What additional expenses might be involved (travel, investigators, consultants, professionals )?
– Is the lawyer insured for malpractice (be sure that he/she is!)?
Regarding contact with your lawyer
– How can you contact your lawyer (include emergency contact)?
– How long will your lawyer take to get back to you when contacted (with some exception, expect returns calls within 24 hours)?
Note The Experience
During the interview, you want to note two thingsyour rapport with the lawyer and his or her responses. From there, narrow the list down to the one with whom you feel comfortable and well-represented. If you’ve not yet found that person, interview more divorce lawyers until you do.