Going through a divorce can be exhausting for all involved parties. In most cases, hiring a good divorce attorney is the only thing that makes things easier since you have an expert to help you navigate the legal aspects of the separation process. The chances of a favorable and amicable split are pegged on having an experienced lawyer by your side.
With so many attorneys out there, finding the right candidate can prove challenging. As such, you need to find ways of narrowing down your options, and that is why the asking the following questions can help you find and hire and right legal representation for your divorce cases.
- How long have you practiced divorce and family law?
The first step towards ensuring that you have the right attorney on your side is to make sure that you hire a reputable professional with years of experience in family law and divorce. Most divorce and family law advocates try to have matters settled out of court. However, divorce cases tend to go to trial and thus who you hire has to:
- Conduct direct and cross-examinations
- Prepare and present relevant evidence to the court
- Make objections to any issues presented by the other side to the court
- Prepare legal arguments and file motions
You will have little to worry about during the divorce process if you are confident that you have an experienced and skilled divorce attorney handling your case. It is an essential thing to consider more so if you are gearing up for difficult or contested marriage dissolution.
- Do you handle cases besides those of divorce and family law?
The question aims at evaluating the commitment of the attorney. Advocates who handle different areas of law may not lack the necessary expertise require for divorce cases. Specialization is often a strong point worth giving the priority when seeking legal representation in and out of the courtroom. To better the chances of having a favorable win in your marital dissolution, give preference to an attorney who majors in family law.
- Have you ever face issues with the bar association?
Do not find this question to be intrusive or rude. It is an essential inquiry worth making since you need to be sure you have the best and right person fighting on your side. It is worth knowing whether the advocate has ever faced legal troubles; if they have, then ask for the details. Take into consideration what you hear so that you can decide is such a past may present challenges to your case.
- Do you prefer arbitration or mediation over court trial?
As mentioned earlier, most divorce and family law attorneys prefer handling cases out of court. A court trial is the last resort when trying to reach an amicable understanding proves futile. Ask the lawyer the best avenue for resolving any disputes in the marriage dissolution – options being arbitration or mediation. Avoiding a court trial can significantly lower the emotional and financial costs of going through a divorce.
- What are your service rate and fee structure?
Given that divorce and turn into a lengthy and costly process, it is wise to know the must it will cost you to have legal representation for the long run beforehand. You need to have a clear picture of the financial setbacks you will face if the marriage dissolution drags on for months or years.
You should inquire the service fee rate, where it is hourly or a fixed fee. Since most lawyer charge for their services by the hours, ask if this include time spent meet paralegals, hold consultations and making calls. Know if the rates are different for the out of court and in-court time. Also, if the prices fluctuate, this is at what increments and whether you have to pay a retainer fee and the amount.
- What’s involved in the divorce proceedings?
Unless this is not your first divorce rodeo, you most likely know little of what to expect ahead. The requirements and legal challenges of divorce proceeds differ from state to state. Your case can take an unanticipated turn and last longer than expected depending on the situation between you and our spouse.
As such, you should ask the divorce lawyer what the process entails to have a better understanding of all the facts. Also, request the attorney to make clarifications on issues that you do not fully comprehend and if they can help you readjust your commitments and reassess your financial situation before filing the case in court. Ask the attorney to walk you through the various steps you will take so that you can be mentally ready for what comes next.
- How will you communicate about the case?
Excellent communication between the lawyer and the client is paramount to having dependable legal representation. The sharing of information pertinent to the case increase the odds of winning. As such, you should inquire which channels of communication the divorce attorney will use and how often will you be receiving updates about any developments regarding your divorce. Find out if the lawyer will rely on a team or will contact you directly and if the message will be via e-mail, phone, or in- person.
- Will I give/receive alimony or spousal support?
States have different rules when it comes to alimony. You should consult with your lawyer about this matter, whether you anticipate paying or receiving alimony. Asking this question sets the divorce attorney is the right perspective of things on issues such as:
- How long the marriage lasted?
- The earnings and separate contributions to the marriage by you and your spouse
- Property possessions
- Tax implications
- Future parenting responsibility,
All these take center stages in matters regarding alimony or spousal support.
- How will you tackle child custody?
The ugly thing about divorce is that it can have negative impacts all the involved parties, especially if there are children involved. Child custody can be decided upon privately, and this is more often if there is an amicable separation. However, things are tough if the parents are fighting over the kids. If you are in such a situation, then you should ask your attorney about the chances of you getting custody.
The lawyer should highlight the various factors the state judge will take into consideration to deciding who to award the custody. Keep in mind the custody battles are often the reason for prolonged divorce cases. Inquire about what you can do to help speed up the process, such as conceding some issues that the attorney deems trivial to the divorce case.
- What is the process of splitting marital assets?
Any divorce will have to account for the distribution of marital assets; in which case property laws take effect. However, this will vary from state to state. In most cases, the division and allocation of the marital properties are never complicating with both parties in the divorce assigned joint ownership. Nevertheless, you should let the divorce attorneys Columbus Ohio clarify what you can do to avoid biased claims during the split of the asset ownership.