Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is something that many people will need to do during their lives. However, the process of hiring a lawyer is not as easy as it might seem. You need to be sure that you have a firm understanding of who you are hiring to represent you. This is especially true if you are about to be involved in a very serious and potentially complicated legal matter like a divorce. You should never simply hire the first divorce lawyer that you see listed in your local phone book. That would be taking an unnecessary risk. Contact several lawyers in your area who specialize in handling divorce cases. Here are the things that you should ask these people during your consultation.
- How many years have you been dealing with divorces?
It is absolutely essential that you have a very firm grasp of the level of experience that a lawyer has before you decide to hire him or her. For obvious reasons, you do not want a lawyer representing you who has only overseen a handful of divorce cases. You need a lawyer who has been focused primarily on handling divorces for at least five years. This will mean that the lawyer has personally handled literally dozens of divorce cases. This is the amount of experience you need your legal representative to have in case your divorce gets messy. Cordell and Cordell has handled thousands of divorces since the firm was created.
- What percentage of divorce cases that you handle are able to be settled out of court?
This is an important question to ask because you should always try to avoid having your divorce decided by a judge. This means that you need to stay out of court. Therefore, the divorce lawyer you hire will need to have superior skills when it comes to negotiating settlements for his or her clients. Not every lawyer is great at negotiating. This is why you need to find out if the lawyer has a good track record of reaching settlements for his client so that court can be avoided. You are guaranteed to walk away with something if you reach a settlement. There are no guarantees once your divorce goes to court. Cordell Cordell is very good at negotiating outstanding settlements for the people they represent in divorce cases.
- How much will your services cost?
You should always make sure you are able to afford the lawyer you are talking to. Therefore, have the lawyer give you a detailed outline of how he or she will determine the amount of money you will pay. You need to have a very clear understanding of the lawyer's fee structure before you officially agree to hire that person to represent you. You should also find out how much money you will be expected to give the lawyer up front.
- How many other divorce cases are you handling right now?
Every lawyer handles more than one case at a time. However, you should avoid hiring a lawyer who currently has many cases that he or she is working on. You should have the reasonable expectation that your case is going to get a fair amount of attention from the lawyer. This might not be the case if the lawyer is juggling too many cases.