You and your partner have decided to file for divorce. It’s never the easiest thing to do especially if there are children stuck in the middle. You’re going to need a family court lawyer who will make the process easier, not more stressful.
Not every lawyer is made the same, however. You’ll need to ask each potential attorney a series of questions to pick out the best one for your particular case. There are many that you can ask but we’ve narrowed down the best ones.
Keep reading for a complete list of questions that you should ask each attorney that you talk to.
1. How Long Have You Practiced Law?
You want to make sure that whatever lawyer that you get is experienced enough to understand everything that is going into your case depending on how complicated that it is. Someone that’s new at it may not be able to grasp all the in and outs of your case due to lack of knowledge.
This doesn’t mean that you should all but rule out someone that hasn’t been out of law school for too long. They have to get their experience somehow. You may still be able to trust them with your case if it’s something simple.
2. How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Taken Care Of?
Make sure that you are specific with this question. You don’t want to simply ask them how many family-related cases that they’ve taken. You want to know how many like yours they’ve taken.
They may have over a hundred family cases under their belt but only a handful of those fall into the category of your case. On top of this question, you should ask how many cases like yours they’ve represented in an actual trial.
3. What Are Your Usual Clients Like?
This may be a bit personal but it’s a good question to ask. It could help you gauge if they can help you with your case and if you can afford it.
For example, if their usual client is rich to middle-class people and you’re a single mom going back to school that may tell you to look elsewhere or to at least open up questions about payment plans.
4. How Long Does it Take You to Respond to Calls and Emails?
You need someone who is going to keep you up to date with information concerning your case. At the very least, your lawyer should be able to call you back when they miss your call or answer an email within 24 hours.
When you’re asking the lawyer about how long they take to answer you back you may also want to talk to them about their preferred contact method. Chances are that using it will get you a faster response.
5. Will Anyone Else be Working on My Case?
Depending on how complicated your case is, the attorney you’re talking to on the phone may not be the only one working on it. Sometimes they will bring on extra associates and paralegals. If things are really dicey then a personal investigator may get involved.
The reason why you want to ask about these individuals is that you want to make sure that they are experienced. You also want to find out how much adding them on will cost and if your attorney has dealt with them in the past.
6. How Do You Charge Clients and Can You Give Me an Estimate?
Hiring an attorney won’t be cheap on your wallet no matter where you go but you still want to know what price range you’ll be looking at. You don’t want to get slapped with a surprise fee for travel or court costs later.
You also want to know how they are going to charge you so you can pay your bill on time.
7. What is Your Approach
Every lawyer will have a different way of handling your case. Some lawyers are more aggressive than others. Some treat the case differently depending on if children are involved or not.
This question will be the best one to ask to find out if the attorney you’re talking to is the one for you. If you don’t agree with their approach then the case will be full of other disagreements as well.
8. Am I Being Unreasonable?
When you’re going through a custody case or divorce your emotions will be heightened. You may make decisions that are unreasonable and your lawyer will tell you this if you ask.
They can also tell you if the court will even entertain your demands. You may have to alter your goals a little.
9. What Are the Possible Outcomes for My Case?
When you sit down with your potential lawyer to talk about your case, chances are they already have a few ideas of what the outcome will be. Like with the question above this one will also sort of tell you if your goals are possible. You may need to change up a few things.
Beware of attorneys who will promise you everything that you want. Most reputable family lawyers will tell you like it is.
10. Do You Foresee Any Big Problems?
You would like for your case to go as smooth as possible but there are hiccups in about every case. Your lawyer should be comfortable with sharing these hangups with you during your consultation.
Again, if they are offering you everything you want or are painting too pretty of a picture, you should be skeptical.
Everything You Should Ask a Potential Family Court Lawyer
If you’re getting a divorce or are stuck in the middle of a custody case, you’re going to need the best person to represent you. The only way you’re going to be able to get the best family court lawyer is to ask the right questions.
Family matters can already be emotional. Don’t get a lawyer who is going to add even more stress on top of it.
Have you found yourself stuck in a lawsuit? Check our blog daily for tips for getting through it.