A divorce can spark a lot of confusion and overwhelming emotions amongst a couple or family. It’s common to have a long list of questions and concerns when separating, and most of these questions typically revolve around divorce law or a divorce lawyer. Your divorce lawyer will be your point of contact and your best resource during your divorce, so it’s important to choose the right one. If you’re facing a divorce, but you’re not quite sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a list of questions to consider and things to remember when hiring a divorce lawyer.
Should you hire your own lawyer when your spouse wants a divorce?
Absolutely. Even in amicable cases where everyone agrees on the general terms and conditions of the divorce, you should still have your own lawyer to represent you. Once you begin to comb through all of the details of a separation, such as dividing up assets, making new living arrangements, or establishing child custody, it’s always wise to have someone on your team that has your best interest in mind.
Representing yourself or sharing a lawyer can spark a lot of uncertainty with significant life decisions. If you don’t have experience in divorce law, you can easily head down the wrong path. An option created by your ex-spouse may sound good in theory but negatively impact you or your family in ways you may not understand. It’s always highly recommended to hire your own lawyer when approaching a divorce.
Where do I find the right divorce lawyer?
Beginning your search for a divorce lawyer can be a daunting experience. There are dozens to choose from, and you want to make the right choice the first time. Switching from one divorce lawyer to another during the course of a separation can be costly, complicated, and time-consuming. So, where do you begin to find the right divorce lawyer in RI?
An excellent place to start is with friends or family members who can provide a recommendation. Ask about their experiences with their lawyers and if they felt the outcome was successful. It’s also essential to check reviews. If they have several negative reviews, it’s probably not the right divorce lawyer for you. It’s also important to take advantage of free consultations. During this initial meeting, you can ask pressing questions and share concerns about your circumstances. To summarize, ask for recommendations, check reviews, and utilize opportunities for free consultations.
What questions should I ask a potential divorce lawyer?
It’s vital to have a list of questions prepared when you meet with a potential divorce lawyer. By asking the right questions, you can get a feel of their knowledge, experience, personality, and if they’re the right divorce lawyer for you. Here are some questions to consider asking your new lawyer at your consultation:
- Do you specialize in divorce law?
- Do you specialize in family law? (If children are involved)
- What is your experience with child custody laws? (If children are involved)
- Have you dealt with a divorce similar to mine?
- What would be your strategy for my divorce case?
- Should I consider mediation?
- How often do your divorce cases go to trial?
- Are you accessible? Will I be able to contact you if I have a question?
- Are you the lawyer who will be handling my divorce? Or will an associate be managing the case?
- How long will it take for my divorce to be final?
- How do you charge for divorce cases?
- Can you give me an estimate of what you think my divorce will cost?
How comfortable did the divorce lawyer make you feel?
While it’s crucial to have a lawyer that is knowledgeable in divorce law, skilled at negotiating, and aggressive in court —it’s also essential to have one that makes you feel comfortable. Remember that every day in a divorce is different. Some days you may feel optimistic about the future and excited to move forward. Other days may be exhausting, stressful, frustrating, emotional, and even confusing. When the bad days roll around, you want to be able to depend on someone who is empathetic and understands your circumstances. If you don’t believe the divorce lawyer is compassionate and has the time and energy to listen to you, they may not be the right divorce lawyer for you.
What is the cost of a divorce lawyer?
The cost of a divorce lawyer will range depending on many different factors. First and foremost, you have to consider their experience. If you’re looking for the best divorce attorney in your state that consistently produces successful outcomes, they’ll likely be more expensive. In addition to experience, the complexities of the divorce can affect the cost of a divorce lawyer. For example, a contested divorce will cost more than an uncontested divorce. If the spouses agree on the terms and conditions of the divorce, the divorce can move quicker and cost less. A highly contested divorce that goes to trial and gets dragged out for months will cost more.
It’s important to ask about cost when you meet with potential divorce lawyers. Some lawyers will charge flat fees, while others will charge by the hour. If they are charging by the hour, ask how hours are broken down and how often you’ll be charged. For example, if you’re only on a phone call with your divorce lawyer for 15 min, how will you be billed? It’s always wise to have a set divorce budget in mind when interviewing lawyers. Having a set budget can help you choose the right lawyer and make better financial decisions throughout the course of the divorce.
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