What Do I Need To Know About Divorce – Requesting an initial consultation with a divorce attorney can seem intimidating. There are many factors to consider and you may not know what questions to ask.

It’s a good idea to be prepared so that you understand how an attorney can help you navigate the divorce process and whether it is a good fit for your needs. Here is a list of questions to ask a divorce attorney during your first meeting to better understand the divorce process and their qualifications.

What Do I Need To Know About Divorce

What Do I Need To Know About Divorce

Ask about the divorce process and their background experience. 1. How much experience do you have with divorce and is this your specialty?

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Experience counts. Often a lawyer or law firm’s qualifications are listed on their website, but ask what their specialty is. Are they most familiar with divorce law, family law matters or another area? Once you know what their specialty is, see how much experience they have. How many and what types of divorce cases have they handled? Did they manage to settle the case out of court?

If you have children and custody is at stake, you need a family law attorney who has experience handling child custody cases. If you are concerned about spousal support, you need an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.

You will want to ask what you and your spouse will experience in the divorce process. How much will it cost, including filing costs? How long will it take? What steps will you have to go through?

If you think your divorce case will go to trial, you can ask the attorney how a judge is likely to decide your case. This is another reason why it is helpful to know that the attorney you consult has experience with the type of divorce case you are filing. They are familiar with the laws of your state and how courts often decide matters such as property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support in cases like yours.

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Provide the attorney you consult with information about your case, such as whether you expect it to be contested, and ask how long your divorce process is likely to take in the state where you are filing the case.

There are different types of divorce cases. Describe how you want to proceed and ask the attorney which categories might apply to your preferred approach. Do you expect your case to be a liability or no-fault case? Are you open to mediation or arbitration? Are you considering a collaborative divorce, where lawyers from both parties work together to resolve the matter amicably? These are some questions you may want to discuss to determine the best path forward.

Depending on your case type, you can ask whether there are settlement agreements that you may need to make. A marital settlement agreement allows divorcing spouses to agree to the terms of their divorce. Such an agreement is a legally binding document that can address a range of topics, from spousal support (alimony) to child visitation (parenting time) to property division. This may involve a process of offers and counter-offers with you and your partner. It is a good idea to ask the attorney how this process will work.

What Do I Need To Know About Divorce

You may wonder how the negotiation process will go depending on how both spouses take it. The attorney you speak to should have experience with such negotiations so he can tell you what to expect.

What Do You Need To Know About Divorce

The attorney you speak with may not be the only one working on your case. Consider asking if other attorneys or people might participate, and what services they might provide, if you decide to retain the attorney. Is the lawyer you are consulting part of a large law firm? How much of the case would be delegated to other people in the office, such as paralegals, and how much will the attorney do personally?

Divorces can be costly: both the divorce process and the final settlement or court decision can have significant financial consequences for both parties. With this in mind, you should ask about the financial costs of the divorce so that your attorney can help you meet your needs.

As of 2020, the average cost of divorce was $12,900, but that cost varied significantly depending on the type of case. An uncontested divorce without major issues costs an average of $4,100, but divorces that go to trial over two or more issues cost much more: an average of $23,000.

You can ask about the rough total cost of the divorce, including expenses. Filing fees will vary from state to state (for example, in 2020 they were only $75 in North Carolina, but $435 in California), and attorney fees will vary from firm to firm. Make sure you ask what you’re getting for your money and what the most expensive elements of your divorce are likely to be.

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You may wonder how much the lawyer you consult charges per hour of work. Make sure everything is transparent about what you are being charged for; ask about the specific services they provide and how long they usually take. For reference, the average hourly rate for a divorce attorney in 2020 was $270, but about 1 in 10 (11%) of clients said their attorneys charged $100 per hour, and 2 in 10 said they charged $400 or paid more.

You’ll want to know how you’ll be billed, what types of payments they accept, and so on. For example, do they accept credit cards and when are they due? At what time do you have to pay?

Are there additional costs associated with the divorce process? Is there a commission fee in addition to the hourly rate?

What Do I Need To Know About Divorce

It will depend on the actions and behavior of your partner. Lawyers typically bill at an hourly rate, which means longer fights over your spouse, children or other personal issues can result in more fees and costs.

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In most cases, each spouse is responsible for paying for his or her own attorney. But you may want to know if there are circumstances under which you may also have to pay your spouse’s attorney fees. In some cases, a dependent spouse who is eligible for alimony may petition the court to have the other spouse pay attorney fees. You will want to be prepared for this possibility if you are divorcing a dependent spouse. In other cases, conduct such as concealing assets or refusing to provide documents may be grounds for awarding the opposing party’s attorneys’ fees.

Once all the fees and costs are added up, you may find the price tag too high. If this is the case, you can ask about alternatives to reduce costs. For example, hiring paralegals or law firms can be cheaper than retaining a partner. Do as much of your own work as possible when it comes to getting your paperwork and financial records in order. Be careful with emails and phone calls to your lawyer: remember they charge by the hour.

Although this may differ from situation to situation, you may wonder whether other arrangements need to be made to receive spousal support or child support. If you and your divorce spouse can come to an agreement on your own about these types of issues, it can save you the cost of court time and attorney fees.

You want to know who will handle your case and whether you should communicate directly with that person or someone else within the law firm.

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You may wonder if there are important things you need to talk to your partner about, such as showing up at court, filing paperwork, or what you need to do next. The more you can decide amicably with your partner, the more time and money you can save, but you will need to ask your lawyer what is in your best interests to discuss.

Different lawyers may have different preferences when it comes to keeping in touch. Some may prefer emails for simple questions, but may want to meet you in person or speak by phone or video call to discuss the most important aspects of the case. Again, remember that most divorce attorneys charge by the hour, so the more time you spend discussing the case, the more you will likely be charged.

On the other hand, you don’t want to skimp on important issues, otherwise you may end up paying more in other ways, such as through property division or spousal support. Make sure you understand everything before unsubscribing.

What Do I Need To Know About Divorce

The attorney you meet with may have advice on how to make the case an “amicable” divorce. They may be able to provide you with communication tools so that you can communicate more effectively with your divorcing spouse and move beyond raw emotions to practical solutions that will lead to a fair and timely settlement.

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You may not make a decision about representation right away, so it’s a good idea to ask for the attorney’s contact information just in case

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