5 Questions to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer During the First Consultation
It is especially important to know what questions you should ask an Arizona divorce attorney when you meet for the first time. This helps you get the most out of your consultation and ensures that you are comfortable moving forward with this attorney.
Below are key questions to ask your attorney during your divorce consultation:
What Is Your Experience with AZ Divorce Cases?
Experience is the cornerstone of any legal professional’s practice. It’s the reason you should seek a seasoned AZ attorney rather than someone who has only completed a few cases. When it comes to divorce, you want to be especially sure that your attorney has considerable experience handling these types of cases.
Ask the attorney how many divorce cases they have handled, what types of divorce cases they typically take on, and whether they have any experience with cases that are like yours. This can help you gauge whether the attorney will be a good fit to handle your case and if they have enough previous cases to establish best practices to use moving forward.
What Credentials or Awards Have You Received?
Credentials and awards are simply a way to further verify an attorney’s experience and qualifications. Ask your attorney if they have received any awards or credentials that are specific to divorce law, or if they have been published in any legal journals for their work on divorce cases. This can indicate that the attorney is highly respected in their field and that they are constantly striving to stay up to date on the latest changes in divorce law.
What Is Your Strategy For Handling This Case?
After hearing about your attorney’s qualifications and experience, you’ll want to know more about the attorney’s strategy for handling your unique case. Ask the attorney how they would approach your case, what their strategy would be for negotiation and mediation, and whether they think your case will need to go to trial. It’s important that you feel confident in your attorney’s ability to represent you, and that their strategy aligns with your desired outcome for the divorce.
What Are the Potential Risks and Challenges Associated?
No divorce is without its challenges, so you’ll want to be sure that your attorney is aware of any potential risks associated with your case. This could include a contentious custody battle, complex financial assets, or a history of domestic violence. By understanding the potential risks and challenges up front, you can be better prepared for what lies ahead. This way, you can work with your attorney to develop a strategy to overcome these challenges.
How Will You Communicate With Me During the Process?
Complex or contentious divorce cases can drag on for weeks or even months, so it’s important that you have an open line of communication with your attorney throughout the process. Ask them how often they will communicate with you, what methods they prefer to use (e.g., email, phone, in-person meetings), and whether they will keep you updated on any new developments in your case. You should also inquire about their availability and how they will handle after-hours or weekend communications.
What Are Your Fees and How Are They Structured?
You’ll want to ask about the attorney’s fees and how they are structured. Many attorneys will charge an hourly rate, while others may charge a flat fee or a retainer. Be sure to ask about any additional costs associated with your case, such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, or travel expenses. You should also inquire about how the attorney bills for their time, and whether you will receive regular invoices or a monthly statement.
What Is the Process Necessary For Getting a Divorce in Arizona?
If you’re not familiar with the process necessary for getting a divorce in your state, you’ll want to ask the attorney to walk you through the basics. This should include information about the filing process, the discovery phase, mediation and negotiation, and litigation. By understanding the process up front, you can be better prepared for what lies ahead. An attorney can help you set realistic expectations for the outcome of your case.
Are You Comfortable Handling AZ Child Custody Disputes?
If you have children, you’ll want to ask the attorney if they are comfortable handling a child custody case. This is an extremely sensitive issue, and you’ll want to be sure that your attorney has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle this type of case. You should also inquire about the attorney’s parenting plan philosophy, and whether they believe in joint custody or sole custody arrangements.
What Are Your Thoughts on Mediation?
Mediation is often used in divorce cases to help spouses reach a settlement without going to trial. Ask the attorney if they believe in mediation, and whether they think it would be beneficial in your case. You should also inquire about the attorney’s experience with mediation, and whether they have had success in reaching a settlement through this process.
Do You Think My Case Will Need to Go to Trial?
Although many divorce cases are settled out of court, with only the final divorce decree issued in court, there is always the possibility that your case will need to proceed to litigation. Ask the attorney if they think your case will need to go to trial and if so, how they would prepare for this type of case. You should also inquire about the attorney’s trial experience and whether they have had success in winning cases that have gone to trial.
What Are My Chances of Winning the AZ Divorce Case?
This is a difficult question to answer, as every divorce case is unique. However, you can as3>k the attorney for their general thoughts regarding how you will fare in the divorce based on the facts of your case. You should also inquire about the attorney’s success rate in similar cases, and whether they believe you have a good chance of winning your case. While no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome, this information gauges their level of confidence in your case and their ability to get you the best possible result.
While this may seem like a large number of questions, these are just some of the things you’ll want to ask when interviewing divorce attorneys. By asking the right questions, you can be sure that you’re hiring the best attorney for your case. In addition, these questions can ensure you have a good understanding of what to expect during the divorce process.
Q: How Do I Prepare For My First Meeting With a Lawyer?
A: Bring any relevant paperwork, such as your marriage certificate, divorce petition (if one has been filed), and financial documents. You should also prepare to discuss your goals for the divorce and what you hope to achieve through the process.
Q: How Do I Prepare For a Divorce in Arizona?
A: There is no single answer to this question, as every divorce is different. However, there are general things you can do to prepare yourself emotionally and financially for divorce. Begin by assessing your financial situation, creating a budget, and preparing to discuss child custody and visitation arrangements if you have children. You should also consult with an attorney to get specific advice tailored to your individual situation.
Q: Does It Matter Who Files First in a Divorce in Arizona?
A: In many cases, it does not matter who files first. However, there are some situations in which it may be advantageous to file first. For example, if you are seeking a restraining order or an order of protection, the court may be more likely to grant your request if you are the petitioner. You should always consult with an experienced divorce attorney to determine whether filing first is right for your situation.
Q: Who Pays Divorce Attorney Fees in Arizona?
A: In Arizona, each spouse is responsible for their own attorney fees. However, the court may order one spouse to pay some or all of the other spouse’s attorney fees in some cases, such as when one spouse is found to have committed an egregious act like domestic violence. This would provide compensation for the victim spouse’s attorneys’ fees and make it easier for them to afford legal representation for an issue they did not cause.
Q: What Questions Should I Ask When Getting a Divorce?
A: You should ask questions about the divorce process, your rights, and what to expect during and after the divorce. You should also ask questions about your specific situation, such as how to divide assets and debts, what will happen with your home, and how child custody and visitation will be handled. This will all give valuable insight to help you make the best decisions for your future.
Book a Free Consultation with Arizona Divorce Lawyers: The Valley Law Group
If you are considering divorce, or if you have been served with divorce papers, it is important to consult with an experienced Arizona divorce attorney as soon as possible. The experienced family law attorneys at The Valley Law Group can help you understand the divorce process and ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us for a consultation. We answer the questions you may have to help you feel more comfortable about the divorce process.
*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published Mar 22, 2021 and has been update September 14, 2022.
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.