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Questions to Ask When Choosing an Attorney

In order to ensure that you have found the attorney who is best for your case, some questions that you may consider asking in the initial meeting include:

  • Do you practice family law exclusively? If not, what percentage of your practice is family law?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • What is your retainer or hourly fee?
  • What is your billing technique? You should know what you're paying for, how often you will be billed and at what rates.
  • Approximately how much will my divorce cost? The divorce attorney will only be able to provide an estimate based on the information you provide and the relative complexity of your case.
  • What do you think the outcome will be? Remember, you are looking for an attorney who will provide you with a truthful assessment, not one who will tell you what they think you want to hear.
  • Are you familiar with the opposing attorney in the case? If your spouse has retained a lawyer, ask your prospective lawyer whether he or she knows this lawyer. If so, ask whether your attorney has worked with the opposing attorney and how that particular attorney may handle the case.
  • What percentage of your cases go to trial, and what were the outcomes of those cases?
  • How long will this process take? Remember, this will be an estimate based upon the information you provide.
  • What are my rights, and what are my obligations during this process?
  • Who will be handling the day to day matters of my case?
  • What will you do to help me control my costs in this case?
  • What additional information do you need? Keep in mind, your attorney cannot effectively represent you without all of the information. Ensure that you know exactly what your attorney needs in order to go forward with your case and try to provide him or her with that information as soon as possible.
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