06 Jan Divorce Q&A With a Family Lawyer: How to Pick the Right One
When you’re looking for a divorce lawyer, it can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider before signing on the dotted line. I’ve created this guide, so you know what you’re jumping into. No one jumps into deep murky water before testing it, right? Well, at least, I don’t, and you shouldn’t either.
To find the right divorce lawyer, you must ask the right questions. Also, remember that asking questions is absolutely normal. It’s like going on a date. It’s awkward, but you’re trying to see if you and your soon-to-be lawyer are compatible. You want to be comfortable with them and feel like you’re being heard.
First, let’s get this out of the way… it’s normal to feel anxious about going through a divorce. No one “plans” for a divorce. It happens. Life happens. You’re not alone in this experience. Even if you’ve been separated for years, significant changes are still ahead, and it can be scary. But don’t worry, attorneys are trained to help clients like you through this challenging process.
Here are some questions to ask your lawyer when choosing one:
- How long have you been practicing family law?
Experience is everything when it comes to family law or any law firm. However, family law is fragile and can be taxing. It’s not like a massage or facial. You can’t just walk in and expect to feel better instantly. There are a lot of moving parts and tons of planning.
- What percentage of your practice is dedicated to family law cases?
Many lawyers (like me) do more than just family law. I, for example, also do estate planning. I mainly work on living trusts, which fits nicely with my family law practice. It is best to choose an attorney that practices in one or two areas to ensure the attorney is well-versed in the law in that particular area.
- What are your fees and hourly billing requirements?
This is a big one, especially with how our economy is going, being financially conscious about where your dollars are going is an important question to ask. Fees will differ between attorneys and usually is based on experience. Once again, you want someone with experience and who knows the law.
- What are the potential outcomes of my case?
A lawyer cannot give you a guaranteed outcome, but they can present you with a range of likely outcomes. Remember, these are just educated guesses, as the judge will make the final decision, however, your attorney can guide you based upon their overall legal experience, and on their experience with the different judges.
- Is there any way I can verify your credibility?
Some attorneys, like my firm, for example, will have online reviews that you can look at to get a better understanding of who you would be working with. Although, every lawyer should have some type of review, testimonial, or reference that they can give to verify their credibility. Don’t be afraid to ask. If they don’t have anything to offer… then that might be a red flag. Asking the right questions at the beginning is a must. Remember, it is just like the dread of dating. Your prize? A family lawyer that fights for you and is the champion you need them to be. Now, if you still can’t decide, let’s chat.
– Monica Caffaratti