It can be hard to find a divorce attorney and start the process. There are process options and it is sometimes difficult to pick an attorney and find a guide through the process. Here are ten questions to ask as you learn about divorce and try to determine who to hire.
- What are my divorce options? There are different ways to obtain a divorce in Minnesota Clients can file papers on their own without attorneys, use mediation, litigate their divorce, or have a full collaborative divorce. A good attorney should talk to you about all of the options, even if they don’t practice all.
- Will we work with other professionals? When meeting with an attorney, ask who else they suggest you hire – financial neutrals, family specialists, parenting neutrals, coach or other expert.
- How do most of your cases go? Attorneys may have similarities in their cases or a typical of case. It is good to know how many of the attorney’s cases proceed.
- What divorce method or issue do you have most expertise? Attorneys may specialize in one process (like collaborative law) or a particular issue (like cash flow or non-marital tracing).
- Who controls the process? There is significant difference between a court-controlled process (litigation) and client-centered process (particularly collaborative law). Ask about the difference and what the attorney does most.
- What role will I play in the process? You should know up front what your attorney expects of you – are you a document gatherer or high level decision maker? Are you along for the ride or an active controller of the process?
- How should my spouse and I communicate during the process? Some attorneys advise very little communication between spouses during the process. Other processes, allow for spouses to communicate if needed and comfortable outside of the process. Some clients need to communicate about parenting and others may want to try and work some issues through outside of the process.
- How much do you charge and what is the payment process? In addition to knowing the attorney’s hourly rate, you should know if your attorney accepts credit cards or requires a retainer up front.
- Are there ways I can keep the costs down? An attorney should work with you to keep costs down — ask about the ways they will do it.
- What do you like about this type of work? It is important that you feel comfortable with your attorney and understand how you will work together. Asking some questions about their practice and experience may give you insight into what your attorney is like and why they are practicing family law.
These questions should help you figure out who is the best fit for you.