Going through a divorce can be a very emotional experience which can make it hard to correctly interview a divorce attorney. If you are preparing to file for divorce, you need to know how to effectively interview an attorney. There are a number of questions that you need to ask and areas of practice that you should be focusing on.
Getting An Initial Consultation
The first step in effectively interviewing an attorney will be to get an initial consultation. There are some divorce attorney’s that offer these consultations for free, but most will charge a minimal fee for their time. The process that you need to go through to get the consultation will also be the first part of your interview.
When you look for an attorney, you are going to head to their website. Their website should provide you with information about how to set up a consultation and a means of contacting the attorney. If you cannot easily find this information, you should consider the interview failed and look for a different attorney.
The reason for this is that when an attorney cannot provide basic information about making an appointment, they may not be forthcoming with other information. Additionally, if you cannot find how to contact them, you will generally have a hard time getting in touch with them after hiring them. A reputable and good attorney will provide you with an easy way of getting in touch and have information about initial consultations.
Questions About Their General Experience
When you meet with the attorney, your first questions should be about their general experience. This will help you to determine their level of expertise and if they have the right experience for your case. After all, there is no point in hiring an attorney that has never handled a divorce case before.
This is why the first question should be about the number of matrimonial cases they have handed. You will then need to find out about the number of cases they have handled that involved child custody if this is applicable. If there are any other complications in your divorce such as business valuations or large financial settlements, you need to find out about their experience with this.
You should also find out if the attorney actually has the time to take on a new case. The fact that the attorney is seeing you is not a clear indication that they actually have the time for your case. You need to ensure that your case will get the attention that it needs and if the attorney has a lot of other cases, yours might be pushed to the bottom.
Questions About Their Daily Operations
Once you know more about the experience the attorney has, you should find out about their practice. The first question you should ask if whether anyone will be assisting them with your case. There are many large law firms that have associates who actually handle the cases and the partners will meet with potential clients. It is important to find out about this because you need to know about the experience that the associate has in handling cases like yours.
If there is an associate working on the case, you will need to find out what exactly they will work on. There are some law firms that have associates work on the basis of the case while the partner actually negotiates the case. Ideally, you will want the attorney that you are interviewing to be the one that will negotiate your case.
Another question that you need to ask is whether or not the associate or the attorney will be available to take calls. You should also find out what other methods of contact will be available. It is important that you can contact your attorney such as Dean Hines in Dayton, Ohio when you need them.
Questions About The Fees
There are a lot of people who feel nervous about asking questions regarding the fees the attorney will charge. This is something that you need to clearly understand before you hire an attorney and if they make you feel uncomfortable when you ask about it, you should not hire them. If the attorney cannot clearly explain their fees, you should avoid hiring them and consider the interview failed.
The first question that you need to ask is how the fees will be charged. Most divorce attorneys will charge by the hour and you need to find out what the hourly rate is. You will also need to find out how long they think the case will take to get a better idea of the overall costs.
If an associate will be working on your case as well, you need to find out what their billing rate is. Their rate will generally be lower than that of the attorney. However, there are many law firms that will combine the fees into a single fee that covers the costs of both professionals.
You should also ask if the fee for trial will be different to the hourly rate. There are some attorneys that charge a set fee for each day they are in court on your behalf. You should also find out if they charge a retainer and what this is. Another question in terms of fees will be how the billing arrangement will be set out, this will help you plan how to pay the attorney. You should need to ensure that the arrangement is set out in writing and if the attorney refuses, you should not hire them.
The last question regarding fees will be if there are any extra fees that you might be charged. This can be fees such as the court filing fees and to process server fees. They are generally charged over and above the hourly rate and you need to be aware of this.
There are a lot of questions that you need to ask a divorce attorney to ensure that you have effectively interviewed them. It is recommended that you take a written list of the questions that you want to ask and note the answers given.