What to Ask a Divorce Attorney Before You Hire a Firm
Before you agree to work with an attorney, you need to make sure they will be a good fit for your case. The following 10 questions about the firm, your case and the financial implications of divorce are a great starting point, but remember to ask all the questions that concern you prior to hiring the firm. Remember that the answers you receive are only going to be as good as the questions you ask. Make sure that you get all of the information you need before moving forward. While the attorney might not be able to answer all of your questions completely, they should be able to give you enough information to make you feel comfortable working them.
While the attorney might not be able to answer all of your questions completely, they should be able to give you enough information to make you feel comfortable working with them.
Questions to Ask About the Firm
- Are you certified as a California Family Law Specialist?
There are many attorneys who practice in various areas of law. It's imperative that you hire an attorney who limits their practice to family law. Attorneys who have become a specialist have gone through training and a peer review process to ensure that they have considerable expertise in the area of family law.
- Can I meet the other attorneys or paralegals who will be working on my case? What type of experience do they have?
- How do I reach you in an emergency? How long do you normally need to return a phone call?
Questions to Ask About Your Case
- Based on the facts of my case, how long do you think it will take to resolve my case? What is your plan for resolving my case and what kind of strategies would you use?
- Can you make any kind of predictions based on what you know of my case? How do you think a Judge would rule on my case?
- Can you advise me on how to handle taxes and other financial repercussions from this divorce?
Questions to Ask About Costs
- What are the hourly rates for you and the other people working on my case? Do you require a retainer?
- Are there any additional charges I should expect? (Additional charges could include private investigators, forensic accountants, physicians, psychologists, and even office expenses such as copies and postage).
- Assuming things run smoothly, what will the total divorce cost me?
Most attorneys will not want to answer this question, because it is very difficult to estimate a total price. However, a reputable attorney will give you a range of what a typical divorce, like yours, could cost. The answer is typically a price range. Keep in mind that a surprisingly low number might be too good to be true.
- What can I do to keep costs down? Are there tasks I can complete on my own? Can I speak directly with my spouse?
An attorney can actually save you money, especially when they advise you on the financial aspects of divorce. None of these questions should come as a surprise to any reputable California divorce lawyer.
If you are not given answers or are not given direct answers, do not hesitate to press on. You deserve the best representation available.
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California Divorce Guide