Divorces are never easy; in addition to the raging emotions, there is also the asset & liability division, child custody, and support as well as relocation issues to deal with. The last thing that you want is to work with a lawyer who is incapable of delivering the kind of solutions you were hoping for. Unfortunately, the market doesn’t make it any easier for you to find the right lawyer for your divorce case. With hundreds of lawyers at your disposal, it can be difficult to gauge which one is right for you at face value.
Here are top six questions that you should ask your Scottsdale divorce attorney before signing the dotted lines, so you aren’t screwed over:
Do you practice divorce law exclusively?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers in Scottsdale; however, only a few dozens specialize in family law. The fact that someone is a practicing lawyer doesn’t mean that he or she has the right skills and knowledge to represent you through your divorce case. Ideally, you should find a lawyer who does family law exclusively – only then can you be confident that they have what it take to represent you.
What’s your experience in family law?
A lawyer can specialize in family law – but still, lack the capacity to represent you the best way possible. It could be that they are still new in the industry, or that they lack the credentials to back them up. Better yet, the lawyer could have a track record of losing or lack trial experience and so on. Establishing their experience up front will save you headaches later on.
How many cases have you taken to court?
It is hard to believe this, but many lawyers out there have never represented a single client in court. It’s true that many divorce cases settle out of court. However, there is still a possibility of litigation when other methods fail. If your lawyer does not dare to battle it out in court, they may end up pushing you to take any deal that’s on the table –which isn’t good for you. Find one who has a reputation of representing their clients in court.
What’s your fee structure?
Cost is yet another critical aspect to bear in mind when hiring a divorce lawyer. Find out whether the attorney in question charges a fixed fee or an hourly rate, and how much it is. Inquire about how much they need as a retainer fee and the price for the time you’ll be spending with them. Don’t forget to ask whether the lawyer will also charge for phone calls. You need to be aware of all these – for your peace of mind.
What are the potential outcomes?
Based on the lawyer’s experience in divorce cases, they should be able to inform you of the best possible outcomes as well as the worst. They will also give you an approximation of how long the case is likely to take.
What’s your availability?
Find out whether the attorney is readily available to receive phone calls in case of an emergency. If so, the two of you should be clear about what you consider an emergency.