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Questions to Ask When Consulting a Divorce Lawyer

Cheryl Mascarenhas
Hiring a divorce attorney may seem to be a good option when you are on the verge of filing for a legal separation from your spouse. Read ahead for some simple yet essential questions that you should ask a divorce lawyer.
Separation is most often a stressful and painful process, and involves a mammoth struggle to secure your standing in the division of assets, acquisition of child custody, and property, and it can be a cumbersome battle if you decide to go into it alone.
Hiring a lawyer at such times is beneficial and will help you put forth your views, while giving you practical advice to sort your issues and help deal with the divorce. Hiring a divorce lawyer may not always be a bed of roses, you may have to meet several lawyers, before you come across one that you find is trustworthy and practical in his/her approach.
Even though separations are stressful and painful, there has been an increase in the number of divorce cases in all parts of the world. Finding a good divorce lawyer to fight your case, when you or your spouse has filed for a separation can add to the stress especially when you are unaware of the hassles involved in the legal procedure.
Look before you leap is the only advice worth mentioning, when you look for a divorce attorney. Your foremost concerns when consulting a lawyer, should be reliability and credibility, and his/her experience in dealing with divorce cases. As an individual, you should feel confident in your lawyer as most of the legal proceedings would be dealt by him/her.

Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer

Elementary Questions

  • Are you a general practitioner or a specialist in family law?
  • How long have you been practicing as a divorce lawyer?
  • Do you have a malpractice insurance?
  • What percent of your cases are divorce cases?
  • Have you dealt with court divorces?
  • What is your strategy while handling divorce cases?
  • How many cases go through trial every year?
  • If trial is unavoidable, will you handle my case on your own or will someone be assisting you?
  • What are your charges? Do you charge on an hourly basis or per meeting?
  • What are the other expenses that I would have to bear (associate lawyers, accountants, etc.)?
  • How would you communicate the details to me?
  • Do I call for a follow-up or will you keep me informed via mail?
  • How often would I be expected to come to the office for a meeting?
  • Will you provide a written agreement regarding the expenses?

Case Based Questions

  • How long do you think my case proceeding will take?
  • Is it needed to go through trial?
  • Do you recommend mediation?
  • Will there be any issues that can affect the proceedings?
  • Can you predict the judge's verdict for my case?
  • How do you negotiate child custody or child support?
  • How do I negotiate alimony/spousal maintenance issues?
  • What other help can I expect from your firm?
  • Do you have a tie up with counselors/therapists?
  • What else should I know about divorce?

Miscellaneous Questions

  • What would be the total estimate of the divorce?
  • Would you be dealing with my case directly or indirectly?
  • Do you encourage direct contact between spouses?
  • What makes a case a strong case?
The first thing you notice of any person is their personality. We feel comfortable working with people, who exude amicable characteristics. Let us take a look at the list that will help you decide on a good lawyer, especially if you are a first timer.

Characteristics of a Good Lawyer

A good lawyer should be able to,
  • work efficiently and effectively
  • prepare the client for court proceedings and appearances
  • answer the questions promptly and not give ambiguous answers
  • be a good negotiator and a good communicator
  • have a practical approach to the proceedings and avoid biased opinions
It is always best to remember that, your lawyer expects you to oblige to the rules of the office or firm. Avoid all kinds of emotional outbursts in front of your lawyer and help him/her to solve your case effectively. Last but definitely not the least, you should have a business like approach to the divorce proceeding.