Questions for My Divorce Lawyer

When two married people have decided that they can no longer stay married, it is a good idea that each side hires their own divorce lawyer to protect their rights. Divorce can be one of the most emotionally charged, and financially devastating times in one’s life. Even if you think you are prepared, you are not.

Having a supportive divorce lawyer on your side will help, but remember you are paying him for his advice. What should you ask him? There is a standard list of questions and here are some of them, with the rationale when needed.

  1. Have you personally been through a divorce?- may give the attorney some empathy
  2. Is there a way to do this without too much hurt to everyone including my spouse? Divorces do not have to be malicious or a chance to “take your spouse to the cleaners.”
  3. How often do you litigate versus settling or negotiating your cases? The longer it takes, the more it will probably cost you.
  4. Is the attorney a divorce specialist, or are they just part of his practice? Do you want someone aware of the most current divorce laws?
  5. What is your strategy in my case? How long should it take?
  6. How will you charge me? What is your hourly rate? What is your retainer upfront?
  7. What is the estimated cost of this divorce?
  8. Can I negotiate directly with my spouse? What can I do to save money?
  9. How do you think a prospective judge would rule in my case?
  10. What can you do to help me understand the tax effects of the decisions I make?

It is important to remember that every divorce case is different, just as every marriage is different. Some divorces have child custody and community property issues. That’s why you need to find a divorce lawyer that will be your advocate, someone, you feel comfortable with, and while not the most important factor, someone you can afford.

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