If you need to hire a divorce lawyer, it’s a certainty that you will not be short on options for quality representation. This is both good and bad news, right? The good news is that you have options. The bad news is that you have options — because after all, it can be difficult to narrow down your search if you don’t know where to start.
We wrote a blog post a few years ago, where we shared a few key questions you should ask yourself to make hiring a divorce lawyer easier. To help serve you better, we’ve updated that list below and added a few more questions.
Some of these questions are a refresher from the previous post but read on to learn more.
11 questions to ask yourself when hiring a divorce lawyer
Did we connect?
The first step in any family law case is not only to have the best representation possible but also have a true advocate in your corner – someone who sees you as more than a case number. Take note of chemistry, how interested they were in you and your family, and the facts of the case. Did they speak objectively with you about your family dynamic and what your goals are? Lastly, did the lawyer offer practical advice, even if it meant talking you out of pursuing divorce?
Did they promise the world?
As much as lawyers would love to win every case they represent, it’s just not realistic. Every case, even those where you have an extremely good chance of coming out top, involves a give and take from both parties and plenty of emotion. If the lawyer you met with promised you the world, maybe you should ask a few more questions and proceed with caution. A quality lawyer will be realistic and tell you the truth, even if it’s painful to hear.
Was I too emotional to ask the right questions?
You should wait until your nerves have settled from the shock of your impending divorce before you start talking to divorce lawyers. Anyone who is emotionally charged walking into a meeting with a divorce lawyer will probably forget to ask the right questions, write key points down, and recall the qualities they genuinely like about the lawyer they met with. One good tip is to bring someone (a friend, family member) who you trust with you to ensure you are talking to the right lawyer.
What are other people saying?
When you’re trying to find a divorce lawyer, it can be easy falling into the trap of paying too much attention to lawyer rating agencies. Instead, look online (the firm’s website, social media channels, and outside review sites) to see what real people say about the lawyer and their firm. If you know someone who has used them before or knows them in some capacity, that can also help you build a level of comfort you wouldn’t normally have.
Have they been in your shoes before?
I’ve long said being a child of divorce makes me uniquely qualified to sit with individuals – especially parents – who may be nearing divorce and give them practical and sound advice. Yes, I am a lawyer, but I am compassionate about families and the impact a divorce has on the people that make up that family. It’s not fair to expect every lawyer has been in your shoes before, but having someone with a healthy perspective on your side is icing on the cake.
Did the lawyer appear to be solutions-minded?
Beyond a divorce lawyer’s knowledge of family law, you want to hire a lawyer who is solutions-minded. A lawyer who uses words like “we” and “us” instead of “you” and “your” in any family law matter means they are working toward a common goal, are bought-in to your case, and are eager to provide solutions.
Does the lawyer have experience with your type of case?
Not every aspect of a family law case is black and white. There’s quite a bit of gray area in there, which can make determining the right course of action extremely complicated. Once all the details of your case are on the table, ask the lawyer to provide examples of similar cases and how they handled them. A good lawyer will be able to answer that question, and if they can’t, they’ll be upfront about it and put you in touch with someone who can.
Were they easy to contact?
Lawyers are extremely busy and have plenty of clients to take care of each day, but you should never feel like you are jumping through hoops to get a callback or learn more details about your case. A family lawyer dedicated to building trusting relationships won’t be difficult to find.
Did they have time for me?
To piggyback off the previous item on this list, it’s important that a lawyer consistently shows you are important and that they have time for you. Beyond phone calls, if your consultations are rarely in person or are constantly being interrupted because they insist on taking calls to deal with other people’s cases — while you are sitting there — that’s not a good sign. If you get the feeling that they are rushing through conversations, especially early on, then that is also a red flag. The right lawyer will make you feel like you are their only client — even if they have a backlog of cases.
Can I meet anyone else who will be involved in my case?
Depending on which law firm/lawyer you choose, they will likely have a team of lawyers, paralegals, and office staff working hard to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. While your lawyer should be your primary point of contact, it is nice to be familiar with anyone else you might receive phone calls and emails from. Their support and compassion can be just as valuable during this difficult time in your life.
How do they charge?
Do they charge by the hour or by the case? If hourly, what time increment do they bill at; .10, .20, or .25 of an hour? Are there hidden fees you need to be aware of, especially if the lawyer needs to seek help from an outside professional to give you the representation you deserve? What are the lawyer’s expectations, and do they provide a monthly statement showing services rendered and the itemized charges?
Call Nelson Law Group Today!!
When you are faced with a family law case, the right attorney will give you practical legal advice that you can use to get through the legal difficulties with which you are presented. At the Nelson Law Group, PC, we listen to you and then provide a straightforward evaluation of your case.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available.
Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here.