Divorce is a significant decision that you should approach with utmost care. Its impact will last a lifetime and will affect not just you and your former spouse, but your families as well. For young children and adolescents, the divorce of their parents can be confusing and sad at the very least and traumatic at worst. This is why you should absolutely seek reliable legal representation in handling your case. The process can be stressful, not to mention uncomfortable. So you need all the help you can get to ensure you’re getting the best possible outcome.
Research is an important step in finding a divorce lawyer. The internet is a huge help in identifying legal services and their benefits. If you live in Perth, for example, you can type “divorce lawyers Perth” on your search engine to get a list of both individual attorneys and law firms in your location. From there, you can create a list to trim down later on when you’ve made phone calls, asked for opinions, and such. The bottom line is that you should find an attorney who specialises in the unique aspects of your life and who meets your personal preferences at the same time.
Here’s a quick list of questions to ask prospective attorneys to help you make the choice.
1. How long have you (and/or your firm) handled divorce cases?
This is an important question for you to know how experienced the lawyer or the firm is. A follow up question could be how many cases like yours have they handled before.
2. Considering the details of my case, do you think it’s better to settle out of court?
There are times when going to court can’t be avoided. However, most of the time, it’s better to settle things amicably out of court. This is particularly important if there are children in the picture, as a messy divorce can have much more destructive effects on children.
3. Can you help me make arrangements for our children and settle our properties?
If your lawyer can help you with these matters, all the better. This means you have a centralised contact person for all the details.
4. Will you be personally handling my case?
If you are talking to a lawyer who’s part of a firm, it may be that the lawyer you are talking to right now will not be the one assigned to your case. Ask this question from the get-go, especially if you feel like you have good rapport with the first lawyer with whom you’ve discussed your case. A good follow up question is if it’s possible to meet other personnel who will be working on your case, if any.
5. How is your caseload?
This will give you a picture of how much time they can devote to your case.
6. How can I reach you, and what time would be ideal?
Some lawyers may not give you their contact number directly and instead provide that of their firm. Others will only give you a personal email address. If you’re the type of person who prefers to make phone calls then this set-up may not be ideal. Another concern is when your free time to make calls may not match up with that of the person you’re hiring. Make sure that you and your attorney are in sync so you can contact each other without any problems.
7. What are your feelings about my case?
While not necessarily material to the outcome of the divorce, it’s good to know what your attorney’s views are about your case. At the very least, there will be complete honesty between parties.
8. How much will your services cost?
Divorce costs money. That’s the simple truth. It’s important to know how much you’re going to pay in terms of lawyer’s fees.This includes the hourly billing rates and other incidental expenses used to plan your budget. You may also be charged by your lawyer for other things like preparing documents, billable calls and emails, and compensation for associates working on your case. Moreover, you may also want to ask about extra fees if your case goes to court.
Going through a divorce is a harrowing enough experience as it is. Make things a little easier on yourself and your family by getting a competent and trustworthy attorney. Ask these questions when you talk to divorce lawyers to help you choose the best fit.