A divorce is a challenging and emotional process that can make you feel overwhelmed and filled with questions. With so many divorce attorneys available, you may be wondering which one is right for you. No matter what your divorce process involves, understanding how to choose the right attorney can make all the difference. Here are ten essential questions to ask a divorce lawyer before hiring in New York.
Experience can go a long way in the divorce process. With so many aspects of a marriage to settle, you want to have someone who understands the dynamics of how challenging these decisions are on family units. You want an attorney who is familiar with various areas of family law. That way, they can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you can have access to what you are entitled to.
It’s true that no two divorces are alike, but there are likely some commonalities that can help an experienced attorney fight on your behalf. If, for example, your divorce settlement involves children, you want someone who is familiar with child custody and visitation. Perhaps your spouse has a large retirement account. If so, knowing what equitable access you have to it can ensure that your investment in the marriage is recuperated.
Your attorney may be involved in many different community circles, and it is important to know with whom they are associated with. If they are familiar with your spouse, they may have a conflict of interest in handling your divorce. If, however, they know their attorney, they may have a good working relationship with them, which may help speed up the process or improve mediation.
In some firms, there is a team of attorneys. You will want to ensure that the attorney you hire is the one working for you. Sometimes, larger firms will hand cases to less experienced attorneys or recruit the help of paralegals. Find out the exact role of the team that they will be working with so you know how communication and requests will be handled. When you have questions, you want to know that they will be answered.
Find out upfront what the costs for services are. While this will be an initial estimate, the details of your divorce can provide the potential attorney with a foundation from which to work. You will want to know how much you will need to pay and when it will need to be submitted. For fees, be sure to inquire about what exactly those costs include.
It is unreasonable to assume that you will be the attorney’s only client, but you do have the right to understand how your case is progressing and to ensure that it continues to be worked on. Have a clear understanding of how they communicate and how often they will do so to keep your case progression up to date.
Not every divorce will be amicable, but most divorces have the opportunity for mediation or arbitration. Understanding your attorney’s experience with this can help you determine if they are right for you. If you are able to avoid court, it could not only speed up your divorce but keep your costs down by eliminating court fees.
Having experience with the local judges can help your attorney prepare for your case. Many judges have tendencies in the courtroom and their settlements. With this in mind, your attorney can prepare for that to avoid a lot of issues with documents or filings.
Asking a potential attorney about how they feel regarding different elements of a divorce case can help you understand which way they will guide you. Your attorney’s preferences on sole versus joint custody or on finances can help you decide which route is right for you. For example, if you’re in favor of sole custody, but your attorney prefers to argue for joint, it may not be advantageous to hire them.
They may not know all the details upfront, but giving a potential attorney a good picture of what your case involves can help them give you an overview of their thoughts. See if their vision aligns with yours. You also want an attorney who is honest with you about your case and doesn’t ignore the hardships or successes you may face.
A: When interviewing a potential attorney, stick to questions about their experience in similar cases as well as their thoughts on the details of your case. You want an attorney who has the experience and knowledge to formulate a plan to fight on your behalf for the divorce settlement that you are entitled to.
A: One of the hardest questions to ask any divorce attorney is what to expect in your case. Asking an attorney to predict the outcome is difficult. They may speculate about different elements of your case, but the final outcome is the result of many factors, including how well the other person is willing to cooperate.
A: One of the most important questions you should ask any potential lawyer, beyond their experience, is what their fees are and the structures of payment. While no attorney can guarantee all the costs you might incur upfront, understanding their fee structure can help you not only prepare but speak to their experience. If their fees are outside of your budget, talk to them about it and see if they are willing to work with you.
A: No two cases are the same, and divorces can vary in cost. From attorney fees to court filings to settlement decisions, there are many parts that affect the final costs of your divorce. Attorney fees will make up the bulk of the costs, and they average around $350 per hour. Some attorneys will charge a retainer for their services, but that will factor into their final costs.
Divorces are complicated, but finding the right attorney to represent you doesn’t have to be. By asking the right questions upfront, you can ensure that the attorney you hire has your interests in mind and can represent you well. If you have questions about hiring a divorce attorney, contact the team at Trotto Law Firm, P.C., today.
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