10 Questions To Ask a Divorce Attorney

  1. Do you specialize in divorces, or are divorces just a part of your practice? Are you a certified family law specialist in California?
  2. What is your strategy for my case? How long will it take to resolve my case?
  3. How long to you take to return phone calls? How do I get a hold of you if there is an emergency? What do you consider to be an emergency?
  4. Will anyone else in your office be working on my case? What experience do they have? Can I meet them?
  5. How will you charge me? What is your hourly rate? Do you charge for the time I spend with other lawyers, with paralegals, and/or with secretaries? If so, at what rate? What is your retainer up front?
  6. What costs other than your own do you expect will be involved (for example, for private investigators, forensic accountants, physicians, and/or psychologists), and how will you charge me for them?
  7. What’s your estimate of the total cost to me of this divorce? (Do not be alarmed that most divorce attorneys will resist answering this question as the cost of the divorce depends greatly upon the level of conflict in your case. However, the way in which the attorney answers this question may help you size up the attorney. An honest attorney will often answer that it is difficult to estimate the costs in advance. An attorney that gives you an unrealistically low amount may just be trying to get your business).
  8. Do you allow me to negotiate directly with my spouse? How can I keep the cost of my divorce down? Are there tasks that I can do myself to cut down on the amount you will charge me?
  9. Based on what you know about my case, how would you predict a judge would rule on it?
  10. What can you do to help me understand the tax effect of the decisions I will have to make?

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