Don’t Hire a Divorce Lawyer Without Asking These Questions First
Are you one of the 40-50% of couples that get a divorce every year in America? Getting a divorce is a stressful process, both emotionally and when it comes to paperwork. Knowing the right questions to ask a divorce lawyer can make things go a little smoother. Ready to get started? Could you read our guide below? Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer in Arizona
So you’re getting divorced – what’s next? You know you need a lawyer, but do you know what to ask them? Learn some essential screening questions to run by your attorney below.
1. Is Family Law Your Speciality?
When a lawyer passes the bar, they don’t only pass it in one area of law. The same lawyer who handles business or corporate law issues can also manage your divorce case.
Although they are technically qualified, that doesn’t mean they’re the best person for the job.
When you’re looking for a divorce lawyer, you want one who specializes in family law. They’ll have more experience in divorce-related issues and be able to apply all of that knowledge to your case.
If you have children, make sure they’re experienced with child custody cases, too.
2. Do You Often go To Trial?
A drawn-out divorce battle with multiple court dates is something most soon-to-be ex-couples try to avoid. Whatever you can do in mediation and decide peacefully is best.
Ask the lawyer you’re working with how often they resolve things without going to court.
If you expect a challenging divorce and be fighting things out in court, ask the lawyer what their success rate is in court and what you should expect from your case.
3. How Do You Determine Child Custody?
In non-violent or non-drug-related cases, child custody is worked out between spouses and their respective lawyers. You need to know what the attorney’s view of custody is before you start working with them.
Historically courts are often more sympathetic to the mother – but that doesn’t mean your lawyer will be. Ask about how they determine child custody agreements and see if you agree.
4. What is Payment Like?
Working with a divorce lawyer costs money. You can expect to spend a few thousand on your divorce case from start to finish, depending on the complexity of your case.
Ask your lawyer if they have a retainer fee or if you can set up a payment plan to pay as you go. If budget is an issue for you – don’t leave this one off the list. Some attorneys offer special financing programs for clients who need a little assistance.
5. Do You Think You Can “Win” My Case?
You can’t technically win a divorce, as it’s an agreement between two parties, but you can work toward favorable terms. At the end of your meeting or consultation, ask if your lawyer thinks they can get you what you want.
If they can’t, can they get you something close? What do they think you need to comprise on? What are you unwilling to take off the table?
Setting these boundaries down beforehand will ensure you choose the right attorney the first time.
Making Your Choice
The stress of divorce is enough in-and-of-itself. Using these initial screening questions should help make choosing the right attorney a lot easier. Knowing you’ve got a great attorney by your side can help make the entire divorce process a lot less stressful.
Ryan Reppucci, Co-Founder of The Valley Law Group, is recognized as one of Phoenix’s leading family law attorneys. After graduating from Arizona State with the highest honors and inclusion in America’s most prestigious student honor societies, Ryan attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. His career as a law student was decorated with numerous awards, including the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Book Award, nomination for membership in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, as well as Moot Court.