Whether you’re going through a divorce or simply considering it, it is important to make sure that you hire the right attorney for your case. Many people obtain recommendations from friends and family members but not all of those lawyers will be the right fit for your situation. Some attorneys will be better suited for collaborative or mediation style divorces while others will be more suited for a more adversarial approach to a case involving children and assets.
Before you meet with a potential attorney, take the time to narrow down your search through personal recommendations and savvy internet research. Once you have a short list of potential attorneys, call to schedule a phone or in-person consultation. At this point, you should be prepared to ask lots of questions (and even have some homework assignments). Be clear about what your goals are for the divorce process-what keeps you up at night (i.e. alimony, child custody, asset division) and don’t be afraid to ask stupid or seemingly obvious questions.
When you’re meeting with the attorney, be sure to note how they interact with you and their other clients. Do they seem friendly and engaging? Do they answer your questions clearly and thoroughly? Do they seem to have a lot of experience handling divorces like yours?
It’s also a good idea to ask about their caseload. How often do they handle divorce cases and how much time do they dedicate to each one? If the attorney is juggling too many cases, it may not be in your best interest to work with them.
The next thing to look at is how your potential attorney charges for their services. Some attorneys have a flat fee for their services which can be helpful for predicting your legal expenses. Other attorneys will charge per hour of time worked, which can add up quickly. Lastly, some attorneys may use a task-based billing system in which only certain issues are handled by the attorney while other work is done by paralegals, which can reduce your overall costs.
While a lawyer’s track record is important, it’s just as important to consider what their philosophy of divorce is. How do they handle conflicts with their clients and how do they negotiate with opposing parties? If you’re looking for an attorney who will help you settle your divorce outside of court and avoid a lengthy battle, it’s worth considering finding someone with a reputation for being a good negotiator.
Depending on your case, you might need to hire other professionals for services such as a forensic accountant who can examine the financials and detect any hidden assets. Find out if your potential attorney works with these individuals or if they hire subcontractors to perform the more hands-on tasks in your case. Be sure to ask if these fees are included in your initial consultation or if they will be added on later. Also be sure to ask your prospective attorney how long they think it will take to complete your case and what their estimated cost is. Scheidungsanwalt