Having to schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney can leave your mind spinning about how best to utilize your time. When you meet with an experienced divorce lawyer, you should leave the initial consultation feeling like you had most all of your questions answered. Most likely you are wondering which questions you should ask to help you make the best choice for your case. Having consulted with thousands of clients we have been privileged to learn what information is helpful for moving forward confidently. We have compiled the following practical questions for you to consider asking in your initial divorce consultation:
1. What does communication with you and your office look like?
Communication is one of the most important factors when selecting an attorney. Asking this question initially can allow you to establish the expectations you have of communication and allows the attorney to communicate theirs. You want to make sure that your attorney is responsive to you on a consistent basis and does not take weeks to get back to you when you have a question. Asking how long it takes to return phone calls or emails establishes communication as something of importance to you.
2. Will the attorney I have a consultation with work on my case?
If you build rapport with the attorney you initially consult with, you may want to make sure she or he will be the one assigned to your case. If the firm you are working with works in a collaborative manner, like ours does, the attorney you consult with will be your attorney. Additionally, you will have the benefit of the other attorneys’ knowledge as cases are discussed and experiences and opinions are shared in our office.
3. How does billing work?
Divorces can often become pricey and it is best to understand exactly how you will be billed prior to putting a retainer down with the attorney of your choice. Asking questions regarding hourly rates, what your attorney charges for and whether payment plans are available can allow you to plan appropriately for your budget.
4. What is your approach to the divorce process?
You will be working closely with your attorney through the divorce process and you’ll want to make sure your divorce goals are in alignment with how your attorney works. Some attorneys have an aggressive approach with a goal of getting to trial while others arrive for settlement with a reconciliatory approach. You want to select an attorney who has an approach that will work best for you, your case goals and your personality.
5. What expectations should I have of the divorce process?
Keep an open mind about what your divorce will look like. No two divorces are alike, so even though your friend’s divorce may have resulted in x, y, z outcome, your case could result in an a, b, c, outcome because that is what will be best for you and your family. It can be hard to keep an open mind, especially at the beginning of your case, but keeping an open mind will allow you to see all plausible and sustainable solutions that will work for you.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Everyone has a unique case and it’s impossible to provide legal advice without knowing the facts unique to your situation.