5 Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer Before Hiring Them
Facing a divorce can be a major stumbling block in anyone’s life. Your life is changing, your future uncertain. The last thing you’ll want to have to deal with is a bad divorce lawyer who makes the whole ordeal even more uncomfortable.
To that end, it’s important to know what to ask a divorce lawyer before hiring them. Knowing the proper information you’ll need can help you avoid getting into a sticky situation with seemingly no easy way out (and you’re likely already familiar with that feeling).
Below, we’ll walk you through five questions to ask a divorce lawyer before hiring.
1. What Is Your Fee Structure?
Different lawyers charge clients in different ways. Before you lock in with a divorce lawyer, it’s best to understand what your divorce is going to cost you. Depending on how ugly a particular uncoupling is, a divorce case can last anywhere from weeks to years.
With this in mind, it’s best to ask up front if a lawyer will charge a fixed fee or bill you by the hour. If it is by the hour, you’ll need to clarify what type of work constitutes paid time.
Some lawyers have different rates for time spent in and out of court, and you’ll need to clarify this as well. Knowing how a lawyer intends to bill you for their time can greatly help you to estimate the cost of your divorce proceedings.
2. What Is The Process Of Communication?
Divorce cases involve a lot of complicated communication between the parties. Both spouses will need to know how best to speak to the lawyer and one another during the case.
Before hiring a divorce lawyer, you should be clear on when and how often they will contact you about your case. You should also be aware of what form of communication these discussions will take place in (in-person, phone, e-mail?) and whether you can contact them directly or through their team.
3. What About Alimony?
Every state has different laws about alimony when it comes to divorce cases. Regardless of if you’ll be giving or receiving alimony, it’s important that you understand how the process works in the state in which you reside.
Alimony eligibility is usually based on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, earnings, parental responsibilities, and property possessions.
4. Custody of Children
If you have children with your spouse, the matter of their custody is likely at the top of your mind when it comes to these proceedings. You should ask every question you have about custody laws and get as clear of an idea as possible.
Custody battles can easily get nasty and extend divorce proceedings. So it’s important to understand such matters well before saddling up with a lawyer.
5. Dividing Marital Assets
The process of dividing marital assets between spouses can be difficult and frequently bitter. The splitting of assets is based on property laws that vary from state to state.
It’s important that you have your potential lawyer walk you through how dividing assets work in your particular case.
Questions To Ask A Divorce Lawyer Before Hiring
When going through a divorce, your divorce lawyer is a figure you’ll need to lean on heavily.
As such, it’s important you properly vet them prior to working together. Knowing which questions to ask a divorce lawyer before hiring will give you a much better work experience during the actual case.
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