Your Initial Consultation With a Divorce Attorney: 4 Important Questions To Ask
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, you might want to start moving forward with the proceedings as soon as possible. However, while filing before your spouse can have some advantages, rushing into divorce without qualified representation can result in choices you might regret later. Seeking out the right attorney can be a vital part of the divorce proceedings, so as you browse your choices, there are a few questions to ask during an initial consultation that can help you find legal representation best suited to your unique divorce needs and goals.
1. What Fees Can I Expect To Pay?
Having legal representation during your divorce is usually a necessary and costly expense. However, not all attorneys charge the same fees. Before you sign off on a lawyer, take advantage of the initial consultation, which is usually free of charge, to ask about fees and what they stem from. For example, attorneys that handle a contested divorce usually have to appear in court more than once, and most charge by the hour for this service. Others charge for document preparation, phone calls, and research related to legal precedent, so it is wise to ask about the cost of each.
2. What Documents Do I Need To Provide?
When you meet with an attorney for the first time, he or she may need some information from you before the firm can gauge how involved your case is going to be. Before your appointment, email or phone the office to ask which documents you should bring along with you. You will likely be asked to bring several forms of identification, your social security card, and employment information. Some attorneys might also ask you to supply them with some financial information as well, such as whether you share any bank account and credit card accounts with your spouse.
3. What Kind of Experience Does Your Law Office Have?
Knowing what type of experience a law office’s attorneys have with settling divorce cases can help you feel more comfortable about the outcome. While you can read employee reviews online, such as those regarding Cordell and Cordell, asking a divorce attorney about specific experience could help you gauge whether the office is the right fit for your needs.
It is also wise to ask about the success rate as related to experience when you have your initial consultation. For example, a lawyer can have over a decade’s worth of courtroom experience but only win just over half his or her cases. Look for a combination of success and experience as you browse your legal options, especially if you anticipate a difficult or complicated divorce.
4. What Are My Rights as a Parent?
Untangling parental rights during and after a divorce can be one of the most difficult aspects of the experience. If this is a major concern, you might want to consider having your initial consultation with a law office that specializes in these matters, such as Cordell Cordell. Once you understand your rights and responsibilities, you might feel more confident about moving forward with the divorce.
It is important to remember that not all law offices have extensive experience with child custody and parental rights, so try not to feel uncomfortable about moving on if you feel an attorney did not answer all your questions satisfactorily. Finding representation that suits you and your needs may not happen right away, and you may have to meet with several different attorneys before you find the right one.
Going through a divorce is a stressful event that can affect you in a variety of ways as you try to figure out the details. However, using initial consultation meetings wisely can provide you with the answers you need to address concerns quickly and move forward with confidence.