No one wants to hire a divorce attorney, but more than ten percent of the US population has had at least one divorce. Dissolving a marriage and splitting up household affairs is rarely easy or enjoyable for anyone involved in the process. Without an experienced divorce attorney by your side, the proceedings would be impossible to maneuver. You need a divorce lawyer with experience handling your type of case. By asking some simple questions when at your initial consultation, you can be certain that you’ve chosen the right attorney for your case.
- 1. How long have you been a divorce lawyer?
Nothing beats experience, and while everyone has to start somewhere, your dissolution of a marriage shouldn’t be practice for your attorney. An experienced divorce attorney will have dealt with judges, laws, and other lawyers in the area, and these are all important areas of knowledge that can only come with time and observation. There are certainly some energetic and excited new lawyers fresh from law school, but they may not be the best person to represent your best interests.
- 2. How Many Divorces Cases Have You Actually Tried?
There are many family law attorneys who have “handled” divorces, but that’s not the same thing as actually going to trial to settle important issues such as care and custody of the children, alimony, and allocation of assets. You need an attorney who has tried cases in a family law court, and preferably recently. On the other hand, beware the aggressive attorney who insists that every divorce case go to court. A good balance of settling out of court and trial experience is what suits most cases.
- 3. How Much Will You Charge to Represent Me?
Your prospective lawyer shouldn’t be able to quote you a specific fee for your divorce case. There are many considerations that will go into how much your case will eventually cost you. However, an experienced divorce attorney will be able to, based on the general information of your case, give you a ballpark figure of how much you’ll be charged. Be certain to ask if that amount includes going to trial, if you are unable to settle your case outside of court.
Divorces aren’t cheap and they generally take around a year to complete. The average divorce cost ranges from $15,000 to $30,00 per couple, and most of that money is paid to divorce lawyers. When you’re reaching that deeply into your pockets, make certain you’re hiring the right attorney for your needs. Asking these simple questions will help you make the best decision for your case.