If you are deliberating on ending your marriage, one of the first things that you should do is hire an experienced divorce lawyer. Having a divorce attorney can help substantially in navigating the labyrinth that is divorce law. Not to mention that having a lawyer also eases the process, which is a massive advantage to you since divorce can be both emotionally and financially strenuous. Nonetheless, with the vast range of divorce lawyers to choose from, it can be challenging to know which divorce lawyer will be suited to your circumstances. The following article seeks to enlighten you on which questions you should field your potential divorce lawyer so that you can be sure in your choice of attorney.
Should you litigate or settle out of court?
One of the main things people use to base their decision when picking out a divorce lawyer is factoring in their trial experience. And while trial experience is crucial, you should keep your options open and figure out if settling out of court will be a better option for your needs. Out-of-court settlements are advantageous because you do not have to bear the burden of court costs and hefty lawyer fees. However, if you and your ex-spouse lack civility between the two of you, then going to court may be best, especially if you are getting the wrong end of the stick. Overall, consulting with the divorce lawyer will give you a clear-cut decision on what option will be best for you.
What is the breakdown of the lawyer fees?
Generally speaking, either divorce lawyers will charge you a fixed rate for them to work on your case, or they could charge you on an hourly basis. Knowing the lawyer's billing structure beforehand helps in estimating your overall costs. For example, if you want to be in constant contact with your lawyer, a flat rate may be better over an hourly fee, as any time they spend on your case is billable. Alternatively, if your divorce is likely to be underway without a hitch, especially if you and your former spouse have an amicable relationship, then per-hour billing could be more affordable for you in the long-term.
How long will the case take?
Divorce cases do not have a specific duration, but your lawyer will have some insight that will help them guesstimate how long your case will be in court. The factors surrounding your case dictates this duration. For example, couples will children have additional complexities to consider before their case is settled, unlike childless spouses that may only have to contend with property division.