Before you hire a divorce lawyer, there are different questions you need to ask. Asking specific questions helps you understand if the lawyer is a good fit for your legal needs. Use these 11 questions to help you choose a divorce lawyer that has your best interest.
1. Do You Specialize in Divorces, or Are They Just a Part of Your Practice?
You need to know if divorce is one of your lawyer’s specialties or if it’s just a part of their practice. If it’s a specialty, this means the lawyer has experience with divorce and has likely handled cases that are similar to yours.
2. Do You Have Experience with Cases Like Mine?
Ask your lawyer if they have handled cases like yours and approximately how many cases there were. Knowing your lawyer has experience with similar cases gives you peace of mind.
3. What Costs, Besides the Divorce Lawyer Fees, Will I Be Expected to Pay?
You need to know how much your divorce will cost in total, so you can budget around your other expenses. Divorces can be expensive, so it’s good to know how much your divorce will cost, so you have a general idea of the cost of your total monthly expenses.
4. How Will You Charge Me?
Make sure you’re aware of the payment methods your lawyer accepts. Some lawyers may prefer a cash payment while other lawyers only accept credit or debit card payments. You also need to know if there is a payment schedule you need to follow.
5. What Information Do You Need From Me?
With a divorce, there is a lot of paperwork, and your lawyer will need different information. Ask your lawyer what information they need from you, so you don’t delay the divorce process.
6. What Measures Do You Take to Keep My Information Confidential?
Keeping your information confidential is important. You need to know what extra steps your lawyer takes to ensure the information you provide, such as different documentation, is secure. You don’t want the other party getting their hands on your documents and possibly finding out what evidence you have.
7. Should I Be Communicating with My Spouse?
Communicating with your spouse is not necessarily a bad thing if you both can be civil towards one another. If both of you can come to an agreement on the separation of assets and other instances in the divorce, this may make the divorce process less stressful. However, if you and your spouse can’t be in the same room, it’s best not to continue to communicate with your spouse.
8. What Is the Process of a Divorce? How Long Does a Divorce Usually Take?
First, your spouse must be served with a petition for divorce. Once your spouse is served, you have to wait for their response. If your spouse does not respond to the petition for divorce within 20 days, you can request a default to be submitted by the court. Keep in mind your spouse can use the petition to disagree with the divorce. Next, you and your spouse are required to disclose information pertaining to your assets, income and expenses, and liabilities. The time the divorce takes depends on your state and if the divorce is contested. A divorce can take one month to several months to complete.
9. Who Will Be Working on My Case?
It’s a good idea to know who will be working on your case. Get familiar with their names and faces and research their reviews, area of expertise, and the outcome of similar cases.
10. How Can I Make This Divorce Cost Less?
Ask your lawyer what you can do to save money on your case. If you and your spouse can remain civil and talk things out, fewer proceedings will occur in your divorce, which saves you time and money.
11. What Are My Next Steps?
Once you’ve supplied your lawyer with the required documentation, ask them what steps are next. It’s a good idea to be aware of the steps in your divorce case, so you don’t encounter any surprises.
How Can Bergman Family Law Help?
Bergman Family Law is here to help you finalize your divorce and support you through the entire process. I provide trustworthy counsel for divorce and other family law matters. Contact me today, so I can answer any questions you have with a free 15-minute Zoom consultation.