Information to help you make an informed decision about who to call as your divorce lawyer. The following provides a list of questions that will help you determine whether or not he or she is the right choice for you and your case. Divorce lawyers like Ronald Phillips New York work in many different areas, including corporate law, immigration law, civil litigation, and workers’ compensation.
Immediately after you get served with divorce papers, or if you are thinking about starting the divorce process yourself, call around to several lawyers in your area. Get some quotes on how much their services would cost and what areas of law they specialize in. Ask friends for referrals when possible. Once you have a list of potential candidates, it is time to weed out the bad apples.
Here are nine questions to ask a divorce lawyer before you commit to hiring them for your case.
- What is the cost of your services? You need to discuss not only what other clients like yourself may have paid but also how much time and money will be spent on your case. Discussing fees up front helps prevent misunderstandings later.
- How long have you been practicing law? While there are some attorneys who are just starting out their careers, experienced divorce lawyers will have handled many cases that may be similar to yours. Hiring someone with less experience can raise the chances that mistakes will be made or overlooked, which could severely hurt your case.
- Do you consider yourself a specialist in divorce law? An attorney who specializes in a certain area of the law should spend more time focusing on their expertise. A divorce lawyer should be well versed in all aspects of family law, including child custody and property division.
- Are you or any staff fluent in foreign languages? You don’t want to have your case slowed down if your attorney can’t communicate with you in your native language.
- Do you have any legal malpractice insurance? If something goes wrong and the negligent party is uninsured, you may be stuck paying for their mistake out of your own pocket. Make sure to ask what type of coverage they carry and how much it is worth.
- Can I speak to previous or current clients? You can get a better idea of the type of lawyer you are dealing with by speaking to past and present clients. Ask them about their experience, how diligent they were in handling the case, and whether or not they would recommend that attorney again.
- How will this affect my children? Though divorces are rarely easy on the adults involved, they can be especially tough on children. Hire an attorney that puts your children’s best interests first and will do their best to minimize any emotional effects by keeping things as amicable as possible.
- What is taking place in my case? If you want answers, make sure the person you hire is willing to give them. If the attorney cannot explain every step of the process and what you can expect next, move on to someone whose approach will be more transparent.
- What happens if we don’t agree on something? When all else fails, ask this person how they would handle a disagreement with you about your case or their representation. Remaining open about different options ensures that there won’t be any surprises in the future when you need to make a decision together.