While nobody enters into a marriage anticipating that they will someday face a divorce, it still happens very frequently in the United States. If you're in the process of filing for divorce or would like to file, having an experienced divorce attorney on your side can make the process go much more smoothly for you. Before you hire a divorce attorney, however, it's always a good idea to sit down for a one-on-one consultation.
During this consultation, you can get a better feel for whether the attorney is the right choice for you and take some time to ask a few important questions.
How Long Will the Process Take?
Divorces can sometimes drag on for more than a year before they're finalized. Though, if things are amicable, it is possible for a divorce to be finalized much sooner than that. During your consultation, an attorney should be able to gather the information they need from you to determine approximately how long they anticipate your case dragging out. This can be helpful for planning as you move forward through the process.
What Division of Assets Do You Recommend?
You can get a lot of valuable legal advice and guidance during your consultation with a divorce attorney, so don't hesitate to ask about their proposed game plan for dividing up assets with your soon-to-be-ex spouse. Keep in mind that your state's property laws and marital laws can have a major influence on what your attorney recommends here.
What About Child Support and Custody?
If you and your spouse have shared children together, then you'll also need to find out what your rights are in regards to sharing custody after the divorce or collecting/paying child support. An experienced attorney will be aware of state laws and will be able to protect your best interests moving forward, especially in the event of a custody dispute.
What Type of Fee Schedule Do You Follow?
Last but not least, make sure you understand and agree with the fee schedule set forth by your divorce attorney. Will you be expected to pay an up-front retainer right away, or can you make installment payments throughout the process? This can vary from one attorney to the next, so it's important that you know what to expect and that you can comfortably afford the attorney's fees. From there, you can move onto hiring a divorce attorney with confidence and move forward with the process.