Finding the right divorce attorney in the Midwest can seem like an incredible challenge, especially while you are struggling with the emotional weight of an impending divorce and thinking about the potential ramifications your divorce is likely to have on various aspects of your life. However, securing reliable legal counsel from an experienced divorce attorney is a critical step toward finalizing your divorce with confidence. If you are about to start looking at prospective divorce attorneys in your area, there are a few essential questions you should ask before agreeing to a lawyer’s representation.
Questions Regarding Experience
Perhaps the most crucial factor to consider when hiring a divorce attorney is the attorney’s experience level. There are likely dozens if not hundreds of divorce lawyers operating in your local area, each with their own skillset and experience level. While many newer attorneys are talented, enthusiastic, and fiercely committed to providing their clients with the best possible legal representation, solid experience with divorce law is critical if you want to have the best possible outcome in your divorce case.
When you attend a consultation with a prospective attorney, ask them several questions about their experience level. They should have experience with divorce law in general and related family law cases and a track record of successful representation in cases similar to their own.
Ask the attorney whether they notice anything unique about your specific case that stands out as an opportunity or potential challenge. A reasonable attorney should quickly identify these factors and provide keen insights into your unique situation by leveraging their professional experience.
Questions About Legal Strategy
Every attorney has a distinct set of strategies they might employ when representing a client. You may go into your divorce case holding some preconceived notions about how the case will play out, but some of these expectations may not manifest the way you expect. Ask a potential attorney about their strategy, what they intend to do to guide you to a successful result in your divorce, and the factors they think will prove to be the most challenging in your case.
Most modern divorce attorneys strongly encourage their clients to take full advantage of alternative dispute resolution. Collaborative divorce or mediation are effective alternatives to litigation that can allow you to complete your divorce in a fraction of the time that litigation would require. This saves you time and a significant amount of money on legal fees and provides you the opportunity to have more control over the outcome of your divorce. Ensure the potential attorney is willing to guide you through alternative dispute resolution and develop a flexible legal strategy that suits your unique situation.
Questions About Availability
A good divorce attorney will maintain a balanced caseload. This means they may only accept a few clients at a time to make sure they can provide each client with an appropriate level of time and attention. Many divorce cases involve extended periods of downtime between proceedings, and good divorce lawyers will manage several cases at once effectively by maintaining balanced caseloads.
Ask your potential attorney about how many cases they typically handle at once and how much time they anticipate it will take to manage your case. You should also inquire how you can contact the attorney throughout your case and how often you can expect them to provide you with updates about your proceedings.
Open-Ended Questions About Your Case
If you are taking full advantage of a prospective attorney’s consultation offer, make sure to ask several open-ended questions about your case so you can gauge the attorney’s responses. For example, you can ask them how long your case will take to conclude, and this can lead to a discussion about variables you may not have yet considered that will influence your case’s timetable.
Other open-ended questions you might want to ask include requesting the attorney’s first impression of your situation and the factors in your case they believe are most likely to cause problems for you. For example, if you are a high-net-worth individual, they may highlight your finances as a likely point of contention and offer some foundational advice as to how they can help you handle these aspects of your divorce.
Proceeding Through Divorce With Confidence
Once you have hired your divorce attorney and started your divorce proceedings, you will likely encounter various issues that may leave you feeling uncertain and unsure how to best proceed. These situations are where your attorney’s experience and professional resources come into play. When you have experienced legal counsel on your side, you can handle various issues that would otherwise leave you stranded if you did not have representation:
- If you believe your spouse has not been truthful in their financial disclosure statement, your attorney can help you determine the most appropriate method of addressing your concerns. For example, they may coordinate expert witness testimony from financial professionals who can accurately review you and your spouse’s records.
- If you are concerned about your safety after experiencing domestic abuse, your attorney can help you secure a protective order to keep you and your family safe. They will also ensure your experiences are given appropriate consideration from the judge handling your divorce case.
- Suppose you finalize your divorce and experience any unforeseen events that materially affect your divorce order. In that case, your attorney can help you file a petition for modification to have reasonable changes implemented into your divorce decree without a complex appeals process.
These are just a few examples of why reliable legal counsel is crucial in any divorce case. Your unique situation likely entails many different factors that all have the potential to influence your life for years to come. When you weigh the potential future implications your divorce is likely to have on your life; it should be easy to see why you need legal counsel you can trust. If you are prepared to divorce in the Midwest, take time to research your options for legal representation in your area. Then, contact an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible to get the answers you need to your most important questions about your divorce.