When finding a lawyer for a divorce, it’s important you feel confident and trusting of the person representing you. A lawyer that robustly wins the case for one client may have disastrous results arguing for another because of relationships. Not every lawyer is right for you and the outcome of your case may depend on the partnership you have with your attorney.
You need to feel assured in your lawyer’s ability, comfortable with their billing system, and confident they will communicate with you regularly about your case to get you the best settlement possible in a reasonable amount of time.
Here are the five most essential questions to ask your lawyer so you can decide if they are the right match for you. Bring these questions to your first Plano divorce lawyer free consultation.
- Are divorces your specialty? How many divorces do you handle per year?
Asking these questions will help you weed out an inexperienced or generalist attorney, someone who won’t know the judges’ stances or have as much experience in negotiating these types of cases.
It’s important to get a family lawyer specifically because divorces much more emotion involved and specific state by state rules determining what makes your fair share. You need someone who knows how to handle emotionally-charged situations calmly while following compliance with the law.
- What is your strategy for my case? Do you like to handle cases through negotiations or at court? How long will it take to resolve my case? Based on what you know, what do you think a judge would rule?
Here you will be able to sense if your lawyer understands the nuances of your case. This will help you know if they have a clear plan for you or if they will hesitate and cost you time and money. This will also give you an idea of the process to expect if you hire this attorney.
- How do you feel about me negotiating directly with my spouse?
During mediation, most people represent themselves against their spouse while a neutral mediator hosts the session. Having an attorney with you is possible, and some lawyers will expect to be there, which could add to your upfront costs. If both parties aren’t able to resolve their differences, lawyers start in on the next steps of negotiation. If your lawyer is present and helps smooth mediation, you could end up saving time and money. This depends on your lawyer’s approach and the amount of tension in your case.
- How quickly do you return phone calls and emails? What if I have an emergency?
Some lawyers take on too many cases and ignore clients, see what your lawyer says so you will know they will make themselves available to you. Asking about emergencies will also give you an idea of how involved you can expect your lawyer to be.
- What is your retainer cost and what is hourly rate? What charges should I expect for the total cost of this case?
Most lawyers won’t want to answer this because it’s difficult to know the amount of friction in a case, but your lawyer’s answer should help you assess if you can trust them. If they give a quick, low amount, they are probably not being honest.
This list will help you decide confidently which attorney is right for you at your first meeting. We have over twenty years’ experience specializing in family law and are ready to support you. Please call to schedule your Plano divorce lawyer free consultation with Rachel Hewett firm at 972-426-2637.