If you're beginning the complex divorce process, one fact remains: you'll want to hire an experienced divorce lawyer who will represent your best interests throughout the entire process. It is recommended that you consult with at least a few different divorce lawyers in your area before you decide on which one to work with exclusively during your divorce. And as you sit down for a private consultation with each one, there are a few key questions worth asking that can guide you towards the right decision.
What Are Your Areas of Expertise?
Start by inquiring about the attorney's specific areas of expertise when it comes to divorce and see how they align with your unique needs. For example, if you anticipate there will be a child custody battle during your divorce, then you'll definitely want to work with a lawyer who has plenty of experience with custody negotiations. Some other potential areas of expertise that may interest you include division of assets and division of a shared business.
How Long Do You Think it Will Take?
What many people going through a divorce don't realize right away is that the entire process from filing for a divorce to having it legally finalized can take years. The specific timeline for your divorce can vary depending on how amicable things are and the complexity of the separation (assets involved, children, etc.). While a lawyer cannot guarantee any specific timeline, it's never a bad idea to ask for a general idea of how long the process should take.
What if a Prenuptial Agreement Is Involved?
If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement before you married, then you should bring this up with your attorney and even ask him or her to read it over during your consultation. Unfortunately, prenuptial agreements aren't always 100% binding, so you'll want to have an experienced attorney give you his or her opinion on the matter before moving forward.
What Types of Costs Do You Anticipate?
Divorces can be expensive, and there's no way of knowing for sure just how expensive yours will be until all is said and done. Still, an experienced attorney should be able to give you a general idea of the kinds of costs that might apply to your unique situation after that initial consultation, so don't hesitate to ask.
Asking these questions before deciding on a divorce attorney can help you make the right decision.