Are you thinking of getting a divorce?
Choosing to end a marriage is never an easy decision, but sometimes it’s the best option for both you, your spouse, and your family as a whole. If you spend most of your time arguing with each other or wondering what else is out there, it could be time to part ways.
A lot of people getting divorced find it useful to hire a lawyer for professional legal support every step of the way. From handling negotiations to making sure your best interests are always put forward, they can be a brilliant help.
Read on to learn the top questions to ask your divorce lawyer at your first appointment.
How Will Communication About My Case Happen?
Communication with this divorce lawyer (also known as a divorce attorney) will be crucial throughout your case. You want a lawyer who’s going to be easily contactable and has the time to guide you through the process.
Ask them how you’ll communicate (such as over the phone, email, or always in-person) and how frequently. Will you be able to get in touch with them out of hours if you need to, and will that incur any extra costs? How will they send the documents for your case to you?
That last question is particularly important. If your lawyer is sending you private documents in the post or over an unsecured email server, you should be a little wary as both are easily intercepted. The best way to share documents is either using a secure tool like DropBox or handing them to you in person.
Your lawyer should be able to answer all of these questions easily and quickly. If they hesitate and are unsure about any of them, be wary about the experience of your lawyer.
How Can I Keep Negotiations Amicable?
In every marriage break up, you should be striving to keep communications with your spouse amicable. They might not be friendly and cheerful, but if every negotiation is breaking down into fights and tears then something needs to be done. Your lawyer should be on your side to help keep the talks calm and under control.m
An experienced lawyer will give you tips such as:
- How best to communicate with your spouse
- When to communicate with your spouse
- How to prevent conflict during communications
By providing you with plenty of advice around this topic, your divorce should be a lot smoother. If you have a spouse who refuses to communicate properly, your lawyer will also help guide you through what to do.
Who Will Be Making Court Appearances For My Case?
If you need to go to court when finalizing a divorce, the lawyer you’re speaking to might not be the person who represents you. It’s vital you find this information out early on so that you can decide whether you’re happy with not being represented by this specific lawyer if that’s going to be the case, or whether it’s time to move on to someone else.
Lawyers from small firms will usually represent you themselves. In these cases, it could also be wise to ask them whether they’ll have the time to devote to your case and how many others they might be handling at the same time.
If you opt for a large law firm, it’s more common to see your lawyer switch when you go to court. This isn’t always a bad thing! They’ll be switching because they have lawyers who are more accustomed to being in court, giving you a better chance of winning your case.
Are There Factors That Will Increase My Divorce Cost?
Divorce costs vary from case to case. Find out if there are any factors your lawyer can see drastically increasing your fees and ask them how you could avoid that. In general, the more conflict you have the more you’re going to have to pay, so if you can keep any arguments to a minimum you should be able to decrease your cost.
How Does the Court Typically Rule on Cases Like Mine?
An experienced lawyer should know as soon as they look at your case how likely you are to win it. They’ll look at what factors swing the argument in your favor and what factors swing it in your spouse’s favor, and then judge where it will eventually land. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee that you’ll win or lose, but it can help you decide how you want to proceed.
If the lawyer has dealt with many cases similar to yours then it’ll be much easier for them to judge the outcome. Whereas, if your facts aren’t as solid and the case is more unique, it will be tricky.
Which Temporary Orders Should I Request?
Temporary orders are put in place at the beginning of proceedings so that you don’t have to wait until your divorce is finalized. For example, you may apply for a temporary order to gain custody of your children during the divorce or to gain child support and other financial support if you’ve been reliant on your spouse’s income. It can be difficult to know what you’ll need to ask for, but your lawyer should know which requests make sense in your case and which are likely to be granted.
They should then guide you through the process of requesting temporary orders. They’ll tell you the documentation you need, how your attorney will file for the orders, and what to expect at the court hearing.
What Next to End a Marriage?
If you know that the right decision in your case is to end a marriage, it’s time to file a divorce petition. Lawyer up and set up your first appointment where they’ll help you set the proceedings in motion. Even if you think your divorce will be amicable, a lawyer can still help make sure you get a fair deal and help everything run smoothly.
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