When you’re contemplating divorce and looking for an attorney, remember one thing: you don’t have to hire the first one you meet. Choosing the right divorce attorney is one of the most important personal and financial decisions you are likely to ever make.
Some questions to consider asking during your initial interview with a family law attorney include:
Do you focus on divorce cases? Some lawyers include divorce as a part of their practice, while others take only divorce cases. Typically, it can be better to retain an attorney whose focuses their practice area rather than a generalist, particularly if you’re facing a potentially contested divorce, when children are involved, or you and your spouse have substantial financial assets.
What is your rate structure? You will want to know what their hourly rate is, as well as their up-front retainer, and the rate you will be charged for time spent with other lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries.
Other than legal fees, what costs will be involved in my divorce? This could be court costs, mediation fees, and charges for private investigators, forensic accountants, physicians, psychologists, and other professionals that might become involved in the case.
How available are you to your clients? Divorce is an emotional time, and you might want to check in with your attorney now and then. Ask them how long they take to return phone calls, how to reach them in case of an emergency (as well as what they consider to be an emergency) and whether or not they regularly meet with divorce clients to discuss their cases.
Will anyone else in your office be assisting you with my divorce? Senior attorneys often enlist the help of associates and paralegals when preparing divorce cases. Ask about the experience they have, and whether or not you can meet them and call them when your primary attorney is unavailable.
Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most stressful experiences a family can go through, but hiring the right attorney can raise your comfort level and help things progress as smoothly as possible. For competent and compassionate legal advice regarding your divorce, contact a family law attorney at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss online or call 701-235-8000 (toll-free 877-235-8000) today.