On this blog we always talk about the importance of working with an attorney during your divorce. It’s important that an attorney has experience in family law and understands the laws of your state. Many people reach out to an attorney early in the process as a way to decide whether or not they want to file for divorce. Some may think they have to stick with the first attorney they contact, but that’s definitely not the case.
It is expected that you will interview several attorneys before you find the right fit. Consider the process similar to when you would hire a real estate agent or a tax professional – you want to make sure they know what they are doing and that their style and personality is a good fit for you.
So what kind of questions should you ask an attorney when you meet them for the first time? It may be easy to split these questions into two categories. One category has to do with the financial aspect of hiring the attorney. The second category has to do with how the attorney actually handles the case and his or her experience.
When it comes to the financial aspect, ask the attorney what his or her retainer is. Also ask questions about the possibility of refunding that retainer. For example, if you and your ex reconcile, will you get the rest of your payment back? If you decide to switch to a different attorney, will you get a refund on the unused part of the retainer?
It’s also important to find out the lawyer’s hourly rate and how that charge is billed, and what kind of charges you should expect for sending emails and talking on the phone. Also ask about the difference between the cost of in-court services and out-of-court services. These may vary.
The financial aspect of your divorce is very important so do not be afraid to ask these questions directly. An experienced attorney should be able to answer these types of questions and make you feel at ease.