5 Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Divorce Attorney
Finding the right divorce attorney can be a challenge. While there may be several good attorneys in your area, you must choose a divorce attorney you can work comfortably alongside through what will likely be one of the most challenging times in your life.
You should meet with more than one attorney before making a hiring decision. Divorce attorneys offer initial consultations for prospective clients. Be prepared with questions like the following when you attend these meetings.
1. What is Your Experience?
Find out how long the attorney has practiced family law and if family law is their specialty. It is wise to choose an attorney or firm that only handles family law cases. They will be familiar with the local judges and court rules.
Also, inquire whether the attorney you are speaking with will be the one handling your divorce or if another attorney from the firm will be your attorney. If so, find out their legal experience.
2. How Does Your Firm Bill?
You must ask about the firm’s hourly billing rates. Ask what billing rates are for work done by non-attorney staff.
Generally, family law attorneys ask for a retainer before starting a case. Hours are billed against this retainer.
In addition to attorney costs, inquire about other potential costs like filing fees, court reporters, certified mailings, and a process server.
3. How Will We Communicate?
If you have a preferred communication method, like text or email, make sure the attorney uses that method. Ask the attorney if there is a specific time of day they return phone calls (attorneys often return calls in the late afternoon as court hearings start early in the morning and run past lunch) and how soon to expect a return call.
Find out if the attorney prefers one method of communication over another and if there is another member of their team who can answer questions if they cannot be reached.
4. Are You a Strong Negotiator or Litigator?
You know if you want to handle your divorce through negotiations, mediation, or if you are leaning towards traditional courtroom litigation. Ask the attorney about their strengths and weaknesses. Find out how many divorce cases they have tried in court.
Also, ask if there are settlement methods the attorney has found to be more successful than others. This line of questioning will give you an idea of the attorney’s preferred method of handling divorce cases and if you are a good match for one another.
5. How Do You Think the Judge Will Rule on This?
If you have specific questions about child custody, property division, or another matter, ask the attorney how they think the judge would decide the issue. Be wary of an attorney who only gives you the answers you want to hear.
While your divorce attorney is on your side, they need to give you a realistic and honest assessment of your case and then offer options to improve your chance to reach your legal goals.
Contact an Experienced New York Divorce Attorney Today
To schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced New York divorce attorney, contact the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. Attorney Stark is a New York family law attorney who is skilled and knowledgeable in all areas of divorce law, including complex asset and property division, debt division, child custody and visitation, spousal support, and more.
Get answers to your questions and learn how New York’s divorce laws can impact your life both now and in the future. Call the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., today.