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Hiring a Divorce Attorney: 7 Important Questions

As part of the first steps of getting a divorce, be sure to ask a divorce attorney crucial questions that can help you mentally prepare you for what's ahead.

Here are seven questions to ask your divorce attorney:

  1. How long will my divorce case take? The divorce process entails a number of deadlines and waiting periods, so ask your attorney to give you a step-by-step breakdown of the process and how to get the quickest divorce as possible. Familiarizing yourself with the overall timeline of your divorce will help you make a better-informed decision about your next move.
  2. Do you regularly handle divorce cases? Family law attorneys handle a host of issues but many of them wind up specializing in certain areas. For that reason, check with your attorney about how many divorce cases he or she has taken and what percentage of the firm is devoted to divorces.
  3. Do you handle child custody and visitation issues? The tricky part about divorces that involve children is that there are a number of legal issues that are ancillary to the divorce case. Some attorneys prefer to only handle the divorce, while others stick with the client for issues related to child custody and visitation.
  4. What can I reasonably expect from my divorce? Before you jump into the divorce process, ask for an overview of the process and what you should expect after litigating or mediating your divorce.
  5. How much will my divorce cost? Before hiring an attorney, ask for an estimate of the total cost. This should include court fees, attorney's fees, and potential costs of mediation. Doing so will help you determine what path to take for your divorce.
  6. How many divorce cases have you settled out of court? Let's face it, litigation is expensive. To minimize your costs, it's in your best interest to reach a swift resolution out of court. The more settlements, the less painful the process, both personally and financially.
  7. Do you return phone calls? It's important to have an attorney who is available to you. Find out whether the attorney is easy to get a hold of -- particularly during emergencies -- and how much contact he or she generally likes to maintain. Make sure it's up to snuff to how much contact you would like with your attorney.

To get started, find an Atlanta divorce attorney and ask away.

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