What To Ask Your Divorce Lawyer at the First Meeting
Hiring a divorce lawyer comes with many benefits — legal expertise, complete divorce paperwork, and help with asset division and custody agreements. When you’re looking for an attorney, you may wonder, “how do I find the best divorce lawyer near me?” By asking the right questions, you can find the best attorney to help you navigate your divorce process quickly and smoothly. Here are some must-ask questions during your first meeting with your potential divorce lawyer:
Should I Communicate With My Spouse?
Letting go of all the time you’ve spent with your spouse can be challenging. You may want to continue speaking during the divorce to help you build a friendship after the divorce. Communicating directly with your soon-to-be ex-partner isn’t always advisable as it can impact and derail the process.
Talk to your lawyer about the extent of communication you should maintain. They’ll draw on their experience to guide you on whether to maintain a personal relationship. Your lawyer can explain the attorney-client relationship, so you’re on the same page about attorney-client privilege.
You can ask your lawyer for advice if you’re leaving a toxic marriage or having trouble communicating amicably with your spouse. They’ll suggest ways to diffuse conflict if you want to handle the divorce out of court.
How Will the Divorce Impact the Kids?
Every parent wants a divorce to go as smoothly as possible to lessen its impact on the children. Ask your lawyer about their opinion on sole custody and joint custody. While you may think that sole custody is the best solution, it may not be ideal for you. Your lawyer will weigh factors like your spouse’s parental fitness and your kids’ ages to determine the best arrangement for you and your children.
You can inquire about their opinion on child support. The right attorney can provide figures based on your kids’ needs and lifestyles. This can prevent drastic lifestyle changes for the children and improve their feelings about the divorce.
Who Will Handle the Case?
Ask this question if you’ve approached a law firm instead of an individual lawyer. Sometimes the lawyer you meet with may not be the one to take your case. Ask to meet with whoever will be handling your case to discuss your case briefly.
If your case is complicated, it may be assigned to a team of lawyers instead of an individual. This is the case when spouses can’t agree on divorce terms, when there are many assets to be divided, and when both parties want sole custody of their children. If this is your situation, ask to meet all the team members assigned to your case. Your future is in their hands, so you must get acquainted before moving forward.
How Will We Communicate?
Regular communication is key to getting the best possible outcome from a divorce process. Your attorney should offer updates, and you should reach them with your updates too.
Before hiring anyone, ask about your lawyer’s preferred mode of communication. They may prefer calls, face-to-face meetings, emails, or video calls. If you prefer face-to-face meetings and they prefer emails, they may not be the best fit for you.
You should be comfortable with your attorney’s mode of communication, frequency, and responsiveness. There’s too much riding on a divorce’s outcome to risk going into the process without covering all the necessary bases.
How Much Will the Divorce Cost?
Knowing the lawyer’s fees allows you to budget for your divorce. Ask your lawyer for a complete breakdown of their charges before hiring them
The right attorney will explain if they charge by the hour and whether they need a retainer fee. They can provide a general estimate of the overall cost to help you prepare better. Note that you may spend more or less depending on your case’s complexity and the time it takes for you and your spouse to reach an agreement.
It’s Time to Find the “Best Divorce Lawyer Near Me”
Googling “best divorce lawyer near me” will leave you with many potential options. You should schedule consultations and ask the right questions to find a perfect choice for your case. Ask about the best way to communicate with your spouse and how to minimize the divorce’s impact on the kids.
Confirm whether you’ll work with the lawyer you meet, as they may not always be in charge of your case. Don’t forget to ask for clarification on their ideal mode of communication and fees.