Choosing a divorce attorney while you are already under so much of emotional trauma may be a painstaking process. Your senses may not work at their best in such circumstances but it is crucial that you take this important decision wisely since your lawyer is going to be the one who will play a major role in your future course of life. Below is a long list of question that you must ask your attorney. But, it is important that you do it prudently so that they do not feel offended. However, if they are professional enough, they will listen to your questions patiently and understand your concerns.
Regarding the General Experience of the Divorce Attorney
- Can you please tell the estimate of matrimonial cases that you have handled?
- How many of your cases have gone for trial?
- Note that a lawyer who takes a lot of cases for trial is not a good negotiator. The best settlements for divorce are done out of courtroom only.
- Can you please tell the estimate of cases that involved child support, custody, huge financial settlements, business valuations, etc.? (or any other important issue you think is important)
- If you do not see the law degree or diploma in their office, you can ask for their law school.
- Which kind of divorce are you experienced in?
- There are these kinds of divorce in USA- summary, uncontested, default, fault, no-fault, mediated, collaborative, arbitration, contested, and same-sex divorce. You can find out your case with them.
- Do you have enough dates to engage in a new case?
- Do you have contact with the attorney of the spouse?
Regarding the Fees
- What is your billing rate per hour?
- What is the billing rate of your associate?
- Will I be billed combined if you work with your associate jointly?
- There are different criteria of every attorney for billing depending upon the case.
- Is the trial fee different from the hourly rate?
- Is the billing arrangement embarked in writing?
- The billing must be done in writing.
- Is there any charge for retainer? If yes, how much is the retainer?
- How do you charge when the retainer is exhausted?
- Will I be kept updated about the amount of retainer being used up every month?
- What if I am not able to pay the bills for some time?
- Is there any system to collect your fees from the spouse?
- What is the fee for procuring the copies of relevant documents?
- You may get them printed on your own as well if the fees are higher.
- Any other fees that I should know about?
- Are there any charges for phone call conversations?
- A divorce attorney may charge you for 15 minutes even if the call takes just 3 minutes. There are set units of time that are billed.
It is important to ask these questions from your divorce attorney. If the lawyer is not available to answer these questions, you can ask them from their associates. But it is crucial that you get all the answers before you hire them.