How Can I Tell If a Divorce Attorney is Any Good?
The first thing to do when choosing a divorce attorney is to ask for a detailed bill every sixty days. You should be able to see how much your attorney is charging each day and if they are sticking to their prices. If your attorney is a bulldog, you might want to look elsewhere. Read on for tips on how to keep costs down and avoid a “bulldog” attorney.
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Interviewing a prospective divorce attorney
Once you have narrowed down your list to a few potential attorneys, you should begin interviewing them. Some will offer a free initial consultation, but it is a good idea to budget money for this if necessary. In this meeting, you should discuss your situation and your desired divorce outcome. Probe the attorney on his area of expertise, approach to divorce, and the way they work together. Finally, ask for an estimate of his cost.
Although the paperwork for divorce is the same, the actual strategy employed by each lawyer will vary. Ask open-ended questions to get a better idea of what the attorney does not do. For example, if you anticipate a highly contentious divorce, you can ask if he has experience with this type of situation. While these questions may seem trivial, they can be critical in determining whether or not your lawyer is right for your situation.
Getting a detailed bill at least every sixty days
To determine whether or not a divorce attorney is any good, ask for a detailed bill. This requirement is meant to prevent the divorce attorney from billing thousands of dollars. If the divorce attorney charges $250 an hour, he or she could end up billing over $5000 to acquire property. In other words, ask for a detailed bill of the time spent on each item.
Keeping costs down with a divorce attorney
Hiring a divorce attorney is expensive, but it’s not the only way to keep costs down. Other costs that you might not be aware of include filing and service fees, subpoena fees, transcripts, court reporters, and other court supplies. The cost of mediation or an evaluator may be higher, and repeat trips to court are also expensive. There are ways to keep costs down without compromising your quality of representation.
The first step in keeping costs down with a divorce attorney is to choose a lawyer who offers free consultations. These are great opportunities to get to know the attorney before hiring them. In addition, these consultations can help you figure out whether your needs match up with the lawyer’s practice style. Retainer fees vary widely between attorneys, so it’s important to talk with your lawyer to determine whether their fee is affordable for you.
Avoiding a “bulldog” type of attorney
While it may be tempting to hire a divorce lawyer who has a reputation for being aggressive, you should avoid this type of attorney at all costs. Whether you’re filing for divorce or trying to settle a long-standing financial issue, hiring a bulldog attorney will only cost you money that you don’t need to spend. These lawyers tend to irritate other attorneys and make it feel like they’re fighting for you. They will encourage their spouse’s attorney to do the same. They won’t work towards solving your problems and will only increase your frustration. A bulldog attorney will only make things worse for you, resulting in a court decision that favors your ex.
Although it’s tempting to hire an aggressive divorce lawyer, you need to remember that there aremany good divorce lawyers will you based on strategy and law, not emotion. A “bulldog” attorney may charge big and deliver small results, but he or she will only be there to make your case look better. A good divorce attorney will understand this and make rational arguments to get you what you deserve.