When you’re going through a divorce, there are seemingly endless things to handle and decide. Choosing the right divorce attorney is an integral part of the process. It’s worth taking the time to ask the right questions so you know you’re hiring the right attorney. Making a well-informed, thought-out decision about your divorce attorney could be the difference between things going smoothly and becoming more difficult.
Try asking these seven important questions to any divorce attorney that you’re considering hiring.
1- What’s your experience handling divorces?
In most cases, your best bet is to choose a divorce attorney who has relevant experience handling divorce cases. Related questions you may want to ask are: how long have you been practicing family law? And do you specialize in divorce?
A lawyer with extensive experience dealing with divorce will likely have a better understanding of how to handle your case. They might have insights and applicable techniques that less experienced attorneys do not have. Each marriage and each divorce are different but there’s still something to be said for experience in the area of divorce.
2- How will billing work?
Talking about money and payments is never comfortable but billing is an important part of working with an attorney. You should know what an attorney’s fee structure is upfront so you can make an informed decision about who to hire. If you choose to hire a certain attorney, they will likely provide you with a more detailed description of charges but don’t wait until after hiring to iron out financial concerns. You can ask about the lawyer or firm’s hourly rates, how they charge for various communications like calls and emails, and how much the upfront retainer is. You might also ask them to point out ways you can save on fees and other costs.
3- Will you personally be working on my case?
It’s important to know who will actually be working on your case. You might love the attorney you meet with but if they’re not the one who will be doing most of the work on your case, that will change your experience significantly. If the answer to this question is no, it’s reasonable to ask about the lawyers and/or paralegals who will personally be working on the case. You might want to meet them before you make a hiring decision.
4- How long do you expect the divorce proceedings to take?
Even a very experienced divorce attorney will struggle to provide an exact timetable for resolving your case but they should be able to offer an estimate.
5- What is your strategy for handling my case?
You should use your first discussion with a prospective divorce attorney to get a sense of their personality and how they’ll handle your divorce. You can ask them what kinds of strategies they think will work best to get a sense of whether you see eye-to-eye or not. Divorces are stressful enough, you don’t need to add personality clashes with your lawyer to the equation. If you get the sense that an attorney has a different personality type or litigating strategy than suits you, you should just look elsewhere.
6- What will the process look like?
If you’ve never gone through a divorce before, the process can be quite daunting. A divorce attorney can provide guidance so you know what to expect. They can help you determine what paperwork you need to prepare and what the best course of action is. You want an attorney who seems open to answering your questions and covering all the necessary bases. Don’t settle for less.
7- What are the relevant property laws in Illinois?
Your divorce attorney should help you understand the ramifications of all the relevant laws in your area. Some of the most important laws related to divorce are property laws. You may have assets that you are looking to shield from your spouse and your attorney can clarify what is and is not possible. You probably never had to think about the difference between community property and sole and separate property so it helps to have someone by your side who understands the intricacies of these laws.
Contact O’Dekirk Allred and Associates Today
For a divorce attorney who will check all your boxes, turn to O’Dekirk Allred and Associates. We are an experienced family law firm that will fight for the best outcome for you and your families. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you through your divorce.