Hiring a divorce lawyer is a stressful process. Most people who are getting divorced try to meet with three or four before they finally decide on the attorney they want to hire. And even after all that, it is still common for people to be dissatisfied with the attorney they thought was going to represent them the best.
In some cases, a spouse will retain and drop three divorce attorneys during the entire divorce process. For the sake of saving yourself stress, time, AND money, understand that this is an imperative divorce-related choice you are making, and thus should be given the appropriate amount of attention.
The attorney’s qualifications and relevant experience should be considered when choosing an attorney. Because of the complexity of family law and divorce process in New York, your attorney should be familiar with these areas and must have plenty of experience with regards to child custody law, guardianship, and with orders like QDRO’s.
Let’s get the most obvious questions you are going to ask before hiring an attorney: What is your hourly rate, and how will I be billed? Because of the financial strains that divorce can place on spouses, it’s important to know what kind of financial toll it will have. Sometimes, you cannot always afford the attorney you really want, but sometimes they can accommodate you under certain conditions.
After they have reviewed your files and have heard the facts of the case (from your side), it is important to ask how they are going to represent you or present your case. Although they may not be able to tell you how long the case will take, you want them to have a general idea of what the game plan is. If they don’t seem to have an idea of how they’ll start, that might be a warning sign that you should look elsewhere.
In my opinion, the most important thing to find out when retaining a divorce attorney is to find out what area of law they specialize in because to represent you best in a family court, family and divorce law should be their specialty. Not only should you ask if they specialize in family law, ask about how long they have been practicing in this field. Additionally, how many cases they have successfully handled should give you a good idea of how much real experience they have, and how that will translate into their ability to represent you.