Remember these key questions when meeting a divorce lawyer during the hiring process.
It’s well known that dealing with divorce can involve complicated financial, personl, and family decisions. But what about picking your divorce lawyer? Finding the best divorce lawyer in New York for your case includes some careful research, but this topic is just not covered as well as other aspects of divorce. As we enter the second half of the year, we take a look at four key questions to ask a potential divorce lawyer.
What kinds of law does your potential lawyer practice?
This is a basic but important one. Some lawyers practice several kinds of law, especially those working in rural areas who need to take on a range of cases to make a living. Finding a lawyer who focuses exclusively or mostly in divorce and family law can be a strong legal advantage . This kind of lawyer will have more experience than his or her counterpart who handles other types of cases. The attorney-client relationship is also very important in divorce cases, as this is a unique area where both parties often remain in contact for the post-divorce phase.
What exactly does your lawyer charge, and what’s hidden between the lines?
A key financial topic to cover with a potential lawyer is fees. A successful lawyer is willing to discuss the terms of his or her fees with a potential client, not just the advertised hourly rate. Getting into the nitty gritty of fees will ensure that you have a good idea of how much the divorce will cost. It is impossible to know the exact figure of your divorce up front, unless the lawyer is proposing a flat fee for an uncontested divorce or a contested divorced based on certain applicable conditions. However, knowing fees up front before diving into the divorce process will help you understand what could make your case more expensive, and how to prioritize those costs. This question also serves a dual purpose of opening the door to discussing key parts of the divorce process. Gaining as much knowledge as possible will help make a divorce and custody process much smoother.
Can you meet the lawyer’s staff?
Clients often think of working with the lawyer during their divorce, but in reality they are working with the lawyer’s team just as much as the actual lawyer. These people are in contact with you about court dates and key case information, and they work hands on with you to gather evidence and details that will prepare the lawyer for your case. An efficient, communicative staff helps to ensure a strong lawyer-client relationship. And when you feel at ease with your lawyer’s staff, it will be much easier to share sensitive information with them throughout your case.
Does your potential attorney know your spouse’s lawyer?
Getting the lowdown on your lawyer’s relationship with your spouse’s divorce attorney can help gauge how the case will go. And the ideal relationship may surprise you. While getting a lawyer with some animosity towards your spouse’s lawyer may seem like the best choice, it’s not often the case. A lawyer who knows and respects the spouse’s lawyer means that they will move the case forward with minimal stress and argument. The emotional charge of divorce is already present, so obtaining two lawyers who work well together can prevent further hostility.
There is a whole host of questions that clients should inquire about a potential divorce and family law attorney. But there is often not a lot of time for you to shop around for lawyers, and this is already a stressful time in your life. Having these essential questions in your pocket will help make your selection process, and ultimately your entire divorce process, much smoother.