A divorce can be a long road; you and your attorney will be working together for the length of the proceeding, anywhere from six weeks to a year, and possibly after that if the order needs enforcement action.
Having a good rapport with your attorney ensures you will communicate effectively, easing the process and helping to ensure you are working toward the same goal. Here are some things to ask a prospective divorce attorney to see if he or she is a good fit for you.
Not all legal experience is of the same value. Not all lawyers practice family law, and those who do may not all handle divorces. Even among divorce lawyers, some may have experience with specific issues or types of clients and their related needs. For example, you may prefer a lawyer who has handled many divorces involving members of the military, hospital employees, or other situations that involves special types of retirement benefits. Consider asking:
- How long have you been practicing family law?
- How much of your practice is dedicated to divorce?
- How many cases like mine have you handled?
- How many of your cases have you taken to trial?
It is important know that you and your attorney see eye-to-eye on the plan for your case. While your attorney may have to tell you things you do not like to hear, make sure you have compatible visions for the case.
- What is your plan to accomplish my goals?
- Are there preemptive actions I should take before filing?
- If I have a choice in jurisdiction, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Would a collaborative or other non-traditional approach be beneficial?
Cost can play a significant role in some of the choices you make. Your overall satisfaction with the process will be much greater if you ask detailed questions to gain a clear understanding of the costs involved from the very start. It is usually not possible to give a definite answer at the start of a case, but these kinds of questions should give you an idea of what the divorce will cost you.
- What are your retainer cost and hourly billing rates?
- What other fees will be involved?
- What is the total cost you anticipate?
- Do you offer alternative or flexible payment options?
The big-picture questions are important but it is the daily handling of your case that will give you some sense of control over the situation. Try to gain an understanding of how responsive the attorney will be to your needs.
- Who will be available to answer my calls?
- Who in your office will work on my case?
- How quickly will you return phone calls?
Divorce lawyers serving New York and New Jersey
If you are contemplating a divorce, call the dedicated NY and NJ divorce lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. With offices in Rockland County, NY, and Bergen County, NJ, we have helped clients all over New York and New Jersey for the past 40 years.
Call (888) 624-4916 today to schedule a confidential consultation.
- NY Courts, Divorce Basics, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/family/divorceBasics.shtml
- org, Divorce: New Jersey, http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?id=187&state_code=NJ