There are few situations in life that are as traumatic or stressful as a divorce. Along with experiencing an emotional roller coaster, you will also face significant family and legal consequences. During the divorce process, you need the help of an experienced Jacksonville divorce attorney who can help you navigate through this difficult time and get the outcome desired.
To figure out if a divorce attorney is the right fit for your situation, you need to know what questions to ask during your initial consultation. Keep reading to learn what some of the key questions to ask a divorce attorney are during your initial meeting.
What communication method will they use, or do they prefer?
An important question to ask a divorce lawyer on your initial visit is how you will communicate during your case. Having a way to regularly communicate with your lawyer is essential to help ensure your case is successful.
Any lawyer you talk to should let you know how long you may have to wait to receive an answer or response from them. This will help you avoid feeling frustrated later on.
It’s also important for your lawyer to let you know what communication options they offer to stay in touch. Some of the most common include:
- Video conferencing
- In-person meetings
- Phone calls
If you prefer electronic communication, but your attorney prefers to communicate via the phone, it may not be a good fit for your situation. It’s important to find an experienced attorney who will customize their communication style to meet your preferences and to ensure the method is appropriate for the information and situation.
This is also the time to ask if you will be communicating directly with the attorney or with their legal team, like a legal assistant, secretary, or paralegal. If you are going to be speaking with the support staff, find out about their credentials and who is handling different parts of your case.
It’s important to feel comfortable with their communication style and level of responsiveness. This is especially true for time-sensitive matters.
What experience does the attorney have, and is there a team helping with your case?
Another question to ask the divorce attorney you are considering using during your first meeting is about their experience. You should find out if they specialize in divorce cases. It also doesn’t hurt to understand how certain Florida divorce laws.
General practice attorneys may not be the best option when it comes to representation for a family law situation. If you have children, be sure you find out how much experience an attorney has handling issues related to child custody or child support. Attorneys who have the expertise necessary will understand the entire divorce process and types, as well as understand what steps to take to speed up the process and work with the court personnel and the attorneys for the other side.
How does the attorney charge for their services?
Before you decide what attorney to hire, you should understand the fee structure they use. This will help you determine if you can afford their services. Some of the costs you may be required to cover include a retainer fee and hourly rate, as well as other potential fees.
Remember, you don’t want to be surprised by charges or fees you didn’t know about. Therefore, you need to ask about what you can expect to pay at your initial consultation. If the legal services offered by the attorney don’t work with your budget, then they may not be the right legal service for you.
How long do cases like yours usually take?
No attorney can guarantee that your case will be finalized within a certain amount of time; however, an experienced attorney should be able to give you a general idea of how long cases like yours take. There are several factors that will impact how long your divorce (or other family law issue) will take. These factors include:
- Asset division amount
- Child support
- Child custody
What type of communication should you continue to have with your spouse?
When you hire an attorney, they can provide advice and guidance regarding the type of communication you can have with your spouse regarding your divorce. While it will be necessary to discuss the situation with your spouse, you shouldn’t discuss conversations you have with your attorney.
The lawyer you hire will likely explain how important the attorney-client relationship is and why you should never disclose any communications between you and your lawyer with a third party, even if it is your spouse.
If you are struggling to communicate with your spouse due to conflict, it may be wise to ask for advice from your attorney. They can use your experience to help guide your situation. The resources offered by an experienced family law attorney will be invaluable as you move through this difficult time.
Even at your initial meeting, an experienced attorney can help you communicate with a toxic spouse and provide advice about when you should stop communicating altogether.
Does the attorney have any testimonials or reviews from prior clients you can see?
Reading Jacksonville divorce lawyer reviews and testimonials from prior clients can help you figure out if you want to work with a certain attorney. You can likely find these on the lawyer’s website or another popular review site. It’s a good idea to look at several of these to learn more about the attorney.
Call Griffin Family Law for Help with Your Family Law Situation
At Griffin Family Law, I understand how difficult and stressful a divorce can be. I have years of experience helping with cases like yours and will help ensure you get the most positive outcome possible for your situation.
If you are going through a divorce, it’s a good idea to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case before deciding what attorney to hire. This will help you find the right one for your situation and needs.