Hiring a divorce lawyer can be one of the most stressful aspects of the divorce process. Knowing that your future may depend on the results your attorney gets you, hiring a good divorce lawyer is of paramount importance if you want to achieve the best outcome in your case.
To that end, asking the right questions to your divorce attorney can help you find the perfect lawyer for your case.
To schedule a consultation with our experienced divorce attorneys, contact us online or via phone at (818) 462-5076.
Will You Handle My Case?
At some law firms - especially larger ones - the attorney you speak to for an initial consultation may not be the same lawyer assigned to your actual case.
Knowing whether the attorney you're speaking to will be on your case can be important, especially if you like the lawyer at your initial consultation a great deal. If they can't handle the case, that may be a deal-breaker. Asking this question can also help you ensure that an attorney you like ends up on your case, whether that means meeting with other attorneys at the firm until you find a match, or guaranteeing that your initial consultant does work on your case.
How Many People Will be On My Case?
At some firms, one lawyer may handle practically every aspect of a case. At others, multiple attorneys may work on a single case alongside other legal professionals, each lending their own input.
Whether you want more than one lawyer working on your case may depend on the details of your case and how complex it is, but asking this question helps ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
What's Your Hourly Rate? How Often Do You Bill?
Divorce is expensive, so understanding how an attorney charges clients is vital before continuing past the initial consultation.
Knowing what hourly rate you can expect to pay (or how much an attorney's flat fee is, if they use flat-fee pricing), and how often they bill clients, can help ensure you budget for your divorce adequately.
What Does the Retainer Cover?
Unbeknownst to many clients, retainers do not always cover every legal service. Knowing what is and isn't covered by a retainer can help you determine whether another lawyer could provide you with more coverage, or if an alternative method of counsel such as unbundled representation (essentially, purchasing limited specific services from a lawyer instead of putting them on retainer) could be better for you.
How Much Could My Divorce Cost Me? How Much Time Could It Take?
In most cases, lawyers will caveat any answer to this question with a long "it depends" disclaimer, but it is worth asking anyway. A California divorce can take as little as six months to finalize, or it could drag on for years.
There may be no way to predict exactly how long your divorce case could take, but most lawyers will have at least a rough idea of how long your divorce may take to finalize and how much it may cost you depending on what you reveal in your initial consultation.
What Are the Steps of a Divorce?
As with the above question, there isn't necessarily a "right" and "wrong" way for an attorney to answer this question.
However, asking it is still important. Each lawyer has a method for approaching a divorce. Asking an attorney how they would handle your divorce in a step-by-step fashion can help you determine whether you like their personal approach, and if they've been listening to you closely throughout the consultation.
For example, if you've specified that you want to remain on good terms with your spouse throughout the consultation and an attorney immediately starts talking about aggressively litigating the case in court, it may be a red flag.
What Risks Do I Have?
it is always best to assume that your divorce will have a positive outcome, but any divorce comes with risks. Asking an attorney about worst-case scenarios will help you find a lawyer who's honest and can see every part of the picture.
Our divorce attorneys will work with you to ensure you identify and pursue the best possible outcome in your divorce. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (818) 462-5076.