West Covina divorce lawyers
What Is Entailed in Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyer?
Choosing the right divorce lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make as you go through the divorce process. It is okay to be choosy. You should feel no pressure to hire the first attorney you interview.
It can be tempting to rely on referrals made by friends or family members who went though a divorce. While there is nothing wrong with interviewing the attorneys they recommend, you still need to do your due diligence to make sure that the attorney is experienced to handle the details of your case.
Just because an attorney practices family law does not mean that they understand divorce law. Family law is complicated and encompasses more than just divorce. An attorney who specializes in adoption or in another facet of family law may not be the best qualified to help you through the divorce process.
Thankfully, it is possible for you to do a little more investigation to determine if the attorney you are considering for your divorce is right for you. Before starting the investigation, it is good for you to have the basics of your situation clear in mind. This includes understanding the financial assets that are at play, whether child support will be an issue, and whether child custody will be discussed. From there, you can ask your prospective attorney the right questions.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Divorce Attorney
When you meet with a divorce attorney, you need to proceed as if you are the employer interviewing a prospective employee. You should not feel pressured, but you should scrutinize this lawyer to determine if he or she right for the case.
The first question to ask is whether they specialize in divorce. There are family law attorneys who include divorce as part of their practice. This does not mean that it automatically disqualifies them, but it means that they may not spend as much time or have as much experience dealing with divorce as you might need.
Next, ask them how long they have been practicing family law. Just because an attorney has practiced family law for decades does not mean that they are good at what they do nor does a lack of years of experience mean that your case will not be handled well. However, asking this question gives you a feel for the attorney’s experience and gives you a basis to judge whether you feel comfortable with them handling your case or not.
Once you have determined a few factors about the attorney, now it’s time to turn your attention to your case. They may require you to present some basic information about your case at this point. You can ask your attorney, based on the information you have presented, what their strategy would be for your case. It might even be a good time to inquire how long they think it will take for your case to be resolved.
The answers to these questions will give you insight into the way the divorce attorney thinks and how they approach their cases. A more reserved attorney may be reluctant to give a date for resolving the case. However, they may lay out factors that could impact the time to resolution.
While most attorneys will admit that they need more information than what is provided at an initial interview to formulate a strategy, you want your attorney to at least know how they might proceed. If you feel that your attorney is lost during these opening questions, it may be time to talk to the next attorney.
It is good to clearly define payment. How will you be charged? What is the hourly rate they will charge you? Will you be charged for the time you interact with secretaries, paralegals, or other lawyers? If so, what is the rate for their services? You will also want to know how much of a retainer you will need to pay upfront.
It may tempt you to inquire about the predicted outcome of your case and how much your case will cost. Most honest attorneys will tell you it is difficult to answer these questions in advance because of unforeseen factors. A dishonest attorney may give you unrealistic facts and figures just to get your business.
The attorney that’s right for you is going to vary based on the complexity of your case and how strongly disputed it is. However, with due diligence, you can find a West Covina divorce lawyer right for you.