Going through a divorce is usually overwhelming and nerve-wracking, and this is why it is beneficial to hire an expert divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney can give expert counsel, help circumvent issues that may lead to further stress, and ensure that mistakes and delays are avoided. In cases that require it, they will develop clear and binding agreements that protect you.
The initial meeting with a divorce lawyer can be intimidating. This is why we have outlined questions you need to ask to understand how an attorney can help you navigate the divorce process. A divorce attorney’s answers to these questions will reveal if they are a good fit for your needs.
What can I expect from your representation?
While each case is different, there are some critical questions you will want to ask your divorce lawyer before starting the legal proceedings. Questions such as:
- What happens if my spouse does not sign off on the divorce papers?
- How do we divide our property?
- Do I have to pay for my spouse’s lawyer?
- How will we decide on custody arrangements for our children?
Regardless of the situation, it’s best to know what to expect in your divorce proceeding, and it can help you make the best decisions.
How many divorce cases have you handled?
You should also know that not all lawyers are equal. If your attorney has no experience dealing with a divorce matter, they may be more likely to refer you to another firm. It would be best if you first spoke with your lawyer about their background and experience.
How long do you think my divorce process will take?
An expert divorce attorney will explain that no two divorces are alike. The reason is that so many differences go into each person’s unique situation and even each person’s unique personality. The length of a divorce is usually a factor of the attitudes of the parties involved and the complexity of the facts. The following also affects how a divorce proceeding plays out;
- If there are retirement benefits, real estate, or other assets that must be divided up,
- If alimony or maintenance is being sought,
- If there is a contested custody issue
- The presence of any unusual facts such as adultery, tax fraud, cruelty, or physical or mental abuse exists that need to be proven in court.
What will the divorce costs be?
Early in the process, discuss with your lawyer how much your case might cost and what the firm’s fee structure is. Budgeting for divorce costs is an excellent way to avoid ending up in a bad financial situation.
What paperwork do you need me to provide?
It’s imperative to understand all the paperwork involved in divorce proceedings. For example, if you are unaware that you are required to file for a “dissolution,” you might find yourself with a nasty surprise in court. A good lawyer will ensure that you know all the documents required and will guide you through the process.
Filing for divorce is a big decision, which is why you are better off finding an expert experienced in how divorce cases play out. Getting represented by an attorney that is not a good fit for you or your case may put your divorce at a disadvantageous position.
The family law attorneys at Hecht Schondorf are vastly experienced in divorce cases, and other family law matters. Get the representation you deserve; reach out to us here.