Hiring a divorce lawyer can be the most important, and stressful, decision of your entire separation process. When going to a consultation to meet with an attorney, you shouldn’t let them ask all the questions. You need to get enough information from them to ensure that you know if they will be a good divorce lawyer for your case. Here are the three most important questions I think prospective clients need the answers to:
- How Many Divorce Cases Do You Currently Have? This is a great question to ask for a few reasons. First, it’ll let you know how open and honest the lawyer is when discussing things like this. Some lawyers will give you general answers and no specifics, that’s a problem. Second, if a lawyer tells you that he has over 40-50 active divorce cases on their desk alone, then you know you’re not going to have that person’s full attention. Finally, if they tell you a very low number (15 or less), you know that they either haven’t been doing this a long time, or that they primarily focus on different cases. You absolutely do not want a divorce lawyer who isn’t doing this area of law at least 80% of the time.
- Can you Walk me Through the Next Three Months of my Divorce Case? This question is helpful because it will give you critical information about how the divorce lawyer sees your case as it currently stands. They should have an idea of how they want to position your divorce case and what your primary and secondary goals are. Additionally, if you notice they aren’t being very specific with what motions or hearings they are requesting, then it’s time to be worried about whether or not they really know how to handle a divorce case.
- What is the Estimated Price Range for a Divorce Case Like Mine? Every divorce lawyer who knows what they are doing should be able to answer this at the end of your consultation. While it’s true that every case is different, but there are averages a skilled attorney will know depending on the amount of and complexity of the issues. This question will let you know how competitively priced your lawyer is, how open and honest they are with you concerning your fees, and how much experience they have with a divorce case like yours.
There are quite a few more questions you should ask during a consult with a potential divorce lawyer, but these should get you pointed in the right direction. The most important thing to remember is that the law is just like any other profession. There are good lawyers, average lawyers, and bad lawyers. You need to feel completely comfortable that the person you’re hiring is right for you and your divorce case. The only way to know for sure is to push back on them a bit and see how they react.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Emblem Legal for their insight into divorce.