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What to Ask a Divorce Attorney During the Consultation

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If you have a scheduled consultation coming up and you’re clueless as far as what to ask your divorce attorney, you’ll definitely want to figure it out ahead of time. In fact, getting as much information as possible during the consultation can save a lot of time and money in the divorce process.Client-Talking-to-Attorney-in-Office

On the other hand, if you don’t maximize your time during the free consultation, you can be charged later for asking the same questions.

Here are some vital questions for which you will want answers if you are going for your first consultation:

What is Your Fee Structure?

The first and one of the most important questions you will want to ask is what is their fee structure. Do they charge for each hour spent on your case or one flat fee? Keep in mind that divorces can also last years, so it is important to also ask about any financial implications.

What are the Divorce Procedures?

Every state will have different divorce procedures in which must be followed by both you and your attorney. The exact length of time necessary to complete the divorce will depend on the complexity of your situation (child custody, property division, disagreements with both parties, etc.). Be sure to inform the divorce attorney of all aspects in your divorce so they can give you the most accurate estimate and timeline of your divorce.

Keep in mind that if you work full-time or have other needs that require the majority of your time, knowing the requirements and commitments of the divorce ahead of time will help while you prepare.

What if I Need Alimony?

Each state will differ in regards to allowing a spouse to seek alimony from the other. Some cases will depend on the length of the marriage, whether a spouse stays home with the child, or the difference in income between the spouses.

Whether you are seeking alimony or your spouse is seeking it from you, let your attorney know during the initial consultation so they can inform you of any liabilities that can occur during the divorce.

What about Child Custody?Mother-Daughter-Smiling-Laughing

If you are not able to agree with your spouse as to who will have custody of your children, ask about the factors that are most important to the judge when determining custody. This can include income, the amount of time spent with the child, how involved they are in their children’s lives, their ability to provide for the children, and more. You should also ask about your chances of having custody of your children.

It is often that child custody issues can prolong the divorce process, so it would be good to know which issues to surrender to and which to challenge. You can also ask about alternative dispute resolution, such as a mediator or arbitration if you want to avoid going to trial.

How Should We Split Marital Assets?

Many states will differ in regards to marital assets, but their process is pretty simple as far as allocating joint assets to each spouse. Generally, they will state the ownership of each spouse. Just make sure to ask your attorney about the procedure for splitting marital assets in your state.

How Long Have You Been Practicing Divorce Law?

Having an experienced attorney is extremely important, especially if your situation is more complicated. Knowing how many years they have been practicing, their specialties, with which attorney you will be working, the number of cases they have won, and other general information about the firm.

Who Will be Working on My Case? And Will You Be Involved as Well?

An experienced family law attorney will often work with a team to gather as much information as possible. But it is important to know who exactly will be working on your case and to have their contact information if you have any updates or questions throughout the divorce. You will also want to know who will be in charge and how you will be billed for that work.

If I Call and Nobody Answers, How Long Will it Take to Get a Response?

Asking this question during the consultation might seem silly, but some firms are busier than others. It would be good to pay attention to the amount of clients present in the office and if the attorneys always seem busy. A good divorce lawyer will answer all emails and calls within 24 hours, or will have their staff respond earlier.

How Familiar are You with the Local Courthouses and Judges?

If you are in a situation where mediation is not an option, having an attorney who knows the local judges and court system well is important. Having someone who knows what judges favor, their process, and even the best times to reach them can be very helpful to your case.

Will I Get Copies of Documents Generated Throughout My Divorce?

A good attorney will provide you with all copies of documents generated during the divorce process. They also shouldn’t be forgetting to send documents to you after receiving a settlement offer from your spouse’s attorney.

Is There a Retainer and How Much Is It?

This is extremely important as well as having the money to pay the fee upfront. Ask what it covers and if you reconcile or switch attorneys, ask whether the retainer will be refunded or not. Some attorneys also charge additional retainers when the initial one is depleted.

Work with An Experienced Divorce AttorneyCheri-Costa-Family-Child-Custody-Attorney-Oak-Lawn-IL

Finding an experienced attorney that stays within your budget can be difficult but not impossible. Generally, it is recommended to find one that you can trust, has experience in cases similar to yours, and is responsive to your emails and calls.

One such law firm that can provide these to you is Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our divorce attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience, working with clients in unique situations while working to establish the best solutions. Our specializations cover many aspects, including child custody, domestic violence, property division, father’s rights, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, alimony, post-decree issues, and more.

If you are contemplating getting a divorce, or if your spouse has served you with divorce, you will definitely want to work with an attorney. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. offers free consultations to give you the answers you need while determining what is in your best interest.

Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 for more information about our law firm or to schedule your free consultation. We are located in Oak Lawn, IL and look forward to serving you soon!

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