Divorce is a stressful time for everyone. There are many raw emotions to deal with, maybe even children to think of, and on top of all that, you have to investigate divorce attorneys. While divorce attorneys don’t come cheap, they can help ease the stress of a clean break, with all parties adequately looked after.
Ensuring that you find the right divorce attorney means finding one who makes you feel comfortable throughout the process. It is sometimes helpful to get recommendations on divorce attorneys from friends who have been through a divorce. However, each situation is different, so it is vital to interview a number of divorce attorneys before you decide on the one for you.
When interviewing divorce attorneys there are some questions that will provide you with a good foundation on which to base your final decision.
Initial Consultation – Free Or Fee
Before you physically go and meet with your prospective divorce attorneys, check as to whether they charge a fee for their initial consultation. In larger cities, like Los Angeles and Chicago, divorce attorneys will charge a small fee for their initial consultations. While this practice shouldn’t deter you from seeing the attorney, think twice about interviewing a divorce attorney charging a large fee for an initial consultation. These attorneys can sometimes specialize in high profile divorces and, unless that’s you, you probably won’t need their expertise.
Divorce Law Specialist Or Generalist
It’s important to ask your selected divorce attorneys whether they solely practice divorce law, or if it is just a part of their overall practice. If they don’t specialize in divorce law, ask them to give you real examples (respecting confidentiality of course), of their divorce clients. If they only have one or two divorces that they have handled before, be extra critical in the other areas of your interview.
If you have children caught up in the divorce, it is also helpful to ask whether are certified in family law. Family law has many different facets, which vary from state to state. Ensuring your divorce attorney is fully qualified will ensure you get the best for your children.
Fees And Total Cost
An attorney’s fees can often be incredibly expensive. However, in your interviews ask for a complete breakdown of fee structures. This is essential to avoid being charged with hidden fees at the end of the divorce process. Many divorce attorneys charge by the hour. Some even charge by the minute, so find out how your prospective divorce attorney charges.
Also, investigate whether you are ‘on the clock’ the minute your prospective divorce attorney picks up the phone. Find out if you will be charged for phone calls where you ask a quick question, such as “Did you send me the paperwork to sign?”
Disbursements are also common in the legal profession. This is where clients are charged a set amount to cover photocopying, faxing, mailing, and more. While this is all necessary, don’t be afraid to question your prospective attorney on the matter, especially if you have a simple case.
Ask your prospective divorce attorney for a total cost figure. Most divorce attorneys you interview will find it difficult to answer this question. Look for an attorney who asks detailed questions about your particular situation. Their thoroughness during your interview will give you a look at how thorough they may handle your divorce. At the end of the interview, you should have a rough estimate of the total cost with plenty of room for unforeseen extras. Asking these main questions in your interview will ensure that you choose the right divorce attorneys in Chicago Los Angeles, or any other city.