Here are the top fifteen interview questions to ask a divorce attorney. You should always interview several divorce lawyers before choosing one, and bring some questions with you to your first meeting. This guide will help.
- What areas of law do you practice? This will ensure the lawyer actually specializes in divorce and family law. Lawyers that practice in multiple areas of the law probably do not have the requisite expertise you need.
- What geographical area and courts do you cover? This will ensure the lawyer is familiar with the judges in your district.
- What experience do you have with divorce cases? This will ensure the lawyer knows how to handle a divorce case from start to finish and your case is not one of the first divorce cases he or she has handled.
- How will you help me resolve my divorce case? This will ensure you “fit” with the lawyer. Do they want to be aggressive or are the settlement-minded?
- What accreditations do you have? Various institutions have varios legitimate ways to provide accreditation to divorce lawyers. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML – www.aaml.org) is one of those institutions. Some state bars also provide a certification for specialization.
- Have you ever taught a family law legal seminar? This will ensure the lawyer is “recognized” as a divorce expert.
- How much is your retainer? This will ensure you receive a comprehensive description of the lawyer’s billing practice and what you should expect.
- What is your hourly rate and your staff’s hourly rate?
- What do you estimate the total cost of my divorce to be? No lawyer can tell you what the total cost of a divorce will be, unless they take the case on a “flat fee” basis. They should give you an idea of the cost based on the facts of your case. Beware of lawyers that charge a flat fee – they have an interest in resolving your case quickly, which means a settlement without aggressive representation in necessary situations.
- Do you offer different types of representation? Some lawyers may offer “consultation” services or other ways to help keep your legal fees to a minimum.
- Do you utilize mediation? The option of mediation or other ways to use cooperation to settle a case should always be a divorce lawyers priority to discuss with a client.
- How will property be divided in my case?
- How might alimony (spousal support), child support, and child custody be ordered in my case?
- How do you communicate with your clients? This will ensure the lawyer uses technology in an efficient way, which will keep your costs down.
- Tell me about yourself personally. This will ensure that you and the lawyer are “fit” to work together.
Excerpt from http://www.massdivorceattorney.net/15-interview-questions-ask-divorce-lawyer/