Hiring the Right Divorce Attorney: Questions to Ask
Under the best of circumstances, divorce is a difficult process. There are many considerations to be made and legal concerns to be addressed, all in the midst of a whirlwind of emotion related to the breakdown of a relationship. As you head toward divorce, you have probably been encouraged by friends and family to seek the services of an attorney to help you through the process and you may have even received recommendations on which lawyer to hire.
The attorney you choose can certainly have a great impact on the outcome of your divorce, as well as your experience during the proceedings. Your decision should be based on your own research and your comfort level with an individual lawyer’s answers to the questions you may have, including:
How Much Experience Do You Have in Divorce Cases?
Does this attorney handle divorce issues as a major part of his or her practice or is divorce a side project? Understanding the experience level of a lawyer will give you an idea of his or her knowledge and skill regarding the specific considerations you require.
What Percentage of Your Cases Are Litigated?
You need to know if the attorney is a good negotiator. If a large number of his or her cases end up being fought in court, it is likely that yours will too. You may be fine with such an idea, but you should be prepared.
Have You Personally Been Divorced?
Although it may seem like an impertinent, personal question, some aspects of the divorce process must be experienced to be truly understood. A lawyer who has gone through a divorce is likely to be more sensitive to many of the nuances and complications of the process.
Who Else Will Be Handling My Case?
If any associates or paralegals will be intimately involved with your case on a daily basis, ask to meet them. Find out who will be doing most of the work and who is likely to answer your calls or emails. Some attorneys are content to let their staff prepare much of the case, while others prefer a more hands-on approach.
How Would You Proceed in My Situation?
An attorney who understands and shares your goals may be easier to work with than one who may have a differing opinion. You have the right to proceed however you see fit in your case, so finding a lawyer willing to help you do so is important.
What Are Your Financial Policies?
You should be fully aware of how the retainer will work, refund policies if you decide to change attorneys, and the office’s overall billing practices. Will you be billed for every call or email? If so, will it be in 15-minute increments, 20-minute increments, etc? Ask for a reasonable estimate based on the known complexity of your case.
Every divorce is as unique as the individuals involved. That is why finding the right lawyer to meet you specific needs is so important to a positive outcome. At The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates, we welcome your questions and are committed to helping you find reliable legal counsel for your case. Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Geneva today and put our team to work for you.