Finding a Divorce Lawyer who will be the best fit to help you solve your marital issues!
If you are looking for a divorce lawyer, obviously your marriage is on the rocks and you certainly don’t want to make it harder by choosing a lawyer that you are not comfortable with. Find an attorney who will listen. They should want to know as much about your particular situation as they can, what your anticipated outcome would be, and anything else you need to talk about. A good attorney will also encourage you to ask questions.
Here are a few questions you might ask to ensure a good fit.
How many cases of my type have you actually taken to trial?
Many divorce cases never go to court. They are settled prior to going before a judge. This is a much better solution in most cases.
However, when your case does have to go to court, you certainly want to know how much experience your attorney has experience in court as well as a proven record of negotiation. You do not want to get into court and find out your lawyer is uncomfortable pleading a solid case in front of a judge.
How long have you been in practice?
Everyone knows experience cannot be substituted. The more experience a lawyer has with judges, the court system, other lawyers and the rules the better off you are. An attorney with years of practice in the courtroom might be much more relaxed and proficient than a new attorney just out of school (although a new attorney might cost less!)
Anyone with courtroom experience will also have a better knowledge of legal documents and filings such as separation agreements, pleadings and court orders.
For these reasons and more, you should know how long your attorney has been practicing divorce law before you hire them.
Given the goals presented, what is the best way to achieve them?
You need a roadmap to work from. A good attorney will have an overall plan based on your situation. Certainly at this point this plan cannot be detailed as there is still much to learn. From this in depth explanation and based on your attorney’s office standard processes, your lawyer should be able to give you a broad step by step map of how he intends to get from where you are at the moment to where you want to be.
How much does a divorce cost?
Although there is no way (usually) that a lawyer can provide an exact quote, a good lawyer should be able to provide some sort of a range for the divorce from start to finish. Your fees will depends on several items such as:
1. How much guidance do you need through the process?
2. Is your case relatively simple and can be limited to negotiations or is it going to include court orders and a trial?
3. How much time will the attorney require to adequately prepare for your case?
Be sure to get a quote that takes you all the way to court if necessary. Once you have a fee range, be honest with yourself and your attorney. Remember they are supporting families and are working for money.
If you cannot afford to pay them, look for other alternatives or start a discussion on payment plans up front.
What do I need to do right now?
Now that you have answers to the first four questions, find out what do you need to do next. Some of the things to think about are:
1. Child support/alimony. Should you be paying it and when and how?
2. Joint credit accounts or financial accounts. We want to make sure a spouse is not spending or hiding money and assets.
Be prepared to take notes during this first visit! There will a ton of information that you do not want to forget. In fact, as we have written you want to keep very good records throughout this whole process to protect yourself and your best interests.
If you are in the Albuquerque area, we would be more than happy to answer these meet with you and listen! Contact our office by calling 505-247-3335 or toll free at 505-247-3335.
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