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Questions For Divorce Attorneys

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When a person gets a divorce, they often decide to have an attorney represent them in court. Divorce attorneys will typically be able to add insight and advice during the case. Knowing how to pick out the right attorney will require that you know what questions to ask.

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What to Ask When Picking out an Attorney

When you are picking out an attorney, you should ask questions that will help you determine if this attorney is a good fit for you. In general, there are four topics that you want to question you attorney on: Experience, Conflicts of Interest, Your Specific Case, and Fees.

Experience

When you ask about experience, you want to know: How long has he or she been an attorney? How long has he or she practiced in your jurisdiction? How many divorce cases has he or she handled? You also want to know how familiar he or she is with the local judges, and how those judges tend to rule.

Conflicts of Interest

This is a commonly overlooked field of questions. Depending on where you live, the odds might be remote that your attorney will have a connection to your spouse, but it is worth looking into. You would want to ask questions to figure out if your potential attorney knows your spouse or any of your spouse's family. The knowledge might not be enough for you to not use the attorney, but it is something that you should be aware of. Attorneys have an obligation to run a conflict check before agreeing to take on your case, but by being proactive, you can help find any possible issues.

Your Specific Case

Questions about your specific case is the area you probably want to spend the most time on.

You should ask:

  • Will you or another attorney within the firm be handling my case?
  • How many attorneys will work on my case?
  • How available via phone and email are you?
  • How many other cases are you working on right now? Where is my case on your priority list?
  • Can I meet all the other attorneys and clerks that will be involved with my case?

Fees

Often times, your decision for who will represent you is decided in large part upon the price. Most people can't afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on attorneys. You need to understand how your attorney will bill you, how quickly you'll need to pay and how much it might cost in the end.

Questions about your potential attorney’s fees should be:

  • What is your retainer fee?
  • What is your hourly billing rate?
  • Will I be sent itemized bills, and can I see what they look like?
  • How much do you charge for letters and phone calls to my spouse's attorney or me?
  • If I call you, will you bill me for the conversation?
  • How much does a divorce like mine usually cost?

Armed with these topics, you can work with a local divorce attorney to see if they are a good fit for you and your situation.