Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Family Law Attorney

Woman signing document at attorney's desk hands

The following is a guest post by Jennifer Beckman of Beckman, Steen & Lungstrom. 

Getting a divorce may feel like an overwhelming process, as if you’re drowning in a sudden wave of decisions. You might not know where to start, especially when you are also trying to take care of yourself emotionally. Keep in mind that you don’t have to walk through this process alone and your attorney will help you through your divorce process.

These five questions will help you make sure the attorney fits you and your needs.

1. How often do you mediate cases and how often do you take them to trial?

Asking this question will give you an idea of how the proceedings will go, and if they will go in a way you want. Whichever method you think will work better for your case, you will want to make sure the attorney is well versed in that method.

2. What good and bad points do you see with my case?

This might be a tough question to ask, but it is a great way to test how forthright the attorney is. You want to feel like you can trust the attorney to give details plainly to you.

3. How do my opinions and input factor into the decision-making process?

You might want your opinions to have a high input in the decisions, or you might want someone else to take more control in order to help lift some of the burden from you. Either way, you will want to make sure the attorney matches what you want.

4. How/what will you charge me?

This questions is important, especially since you’ll need to evaluate what your financial situation will be after the divorce. It might be hard to think about this post-divorce future, but it’s important to make sure the attorney’s price fits your needs and won’t put you in a hole afterwards.

5. How will you communicate with me?

This questions will give you a clear picture of whether or not the attorney will communicate in a way that works best for you. It will also show you how flexible they are. Phone calls and emails are pretty standard means of communication, but maybe those don’t work best for you. Do they text? Do they make Skype calls? It’s important to feel like your attorney will work with your preferences to make sure you stay well-informed.

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