With a matter as important as divorce, you do not want to hire just any lawyer or go into your case blindly. Below are some crucial questions to ask before you begin your divorce.
The divorce process
Your attorney should be able to explain your options in an easy-to-understand matter. Consider asking them:
- What is mediation?
- What is collaborative law?
- What is negotiation? Litigation?
- What are the major differences between mediation, collaborative law, negotiation and litigation?
- Which process do you think would work best for me and why?
Have a clear picture of how you would like to proceed from the start. Make sure you understand the differences between your resolution options and have a say in which one you will pursue.
Costs of the process
It is no secret that divorces are expensive. Ask your lawyer the following questions about costs:
- How much will the process cost?
- Will I be paying for my spouse’s lawyer too?
- Are there other costs besides attorneys’ fees and if so, what are they?
- What factors will increase the cost?
- What percentage of cases you handle go to court? Go to trial? Get settled?
- Who in your office will work on my case? What is the difference in the roles of the lawyers in your office working on my case, if there is more than one?
Litigation is more expensive than other resolution options, though it may be necessary in some cases. You should consider this when asking your lawyer about the cost of various options.
Length of the process
Every case will be unique so be sure to ask your attorney:
- How long will the process take?
- What factors will attenuate or speed up the process?
Your attorney should always set proper expectations before proceeding with your case.
Documents needed for the process
Your lawyer will need certain information from you. You can learn what to expect by asking:
- What documents would be most helpful to gather for the process?
- How can I go about gathering such documents with or without my spouse’s knowledge?
The more prepared you are, the more smoothly your case will go.
Divorce is a very personal matter. You should feel secure while going through it. Ask your attorney:
- Should I have concerns about the confidentiality of my email, texts and phone?
- What can I do if I have such concerns?
A good lawyer will be happy to ease your concerns about confidentiality and protect your private matters throughout the case.