Published in Family Law by Chris Eskew on September 10, 2020.
Choosing the best family law attorney for you is one of the most important decisions you will make when getting a divorce.
You will be working closely with your attorney and sharing lots of personal information with them. So you need someone you feel comfortable with and can trust. You also need someone with the right experience and knowledge to get you the best outcome possible in your case.
Questions to Ask Your Family Law Attorney
The first step in finding a family law attorney is to set up interviews with potential attorneys. This is your opportunity to ask questions and get to know your attorney before employing them.
Hiring an attorney for family law cases can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Go into your interviews with a list of questions to ask your family law attorney that will help you determine whether they are right for you. The following list can get you started, but you should also ask prospective attorneys about anything else that is important to you.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Family Law?
It’s important to get a good idea of an attorney’s background and experience in family law. You may save a little money by hiring a newer attorney or someone just branching into family law. But they may not have enough knowledge to effectively advocate for your best outcome. There are many important personal and financial issues at stake in a divorce that may affect you for years in the future. It’s essential that you choose the best family law attorney that you can.
How Much of Your Practice Is Devoted to Family Law?
In addition to the attorney’s years of experience, you also want to know how much time they spend working on family issues. If an attorney has been practicing for many years but spends only a small percentage of their time on family law, they may not be as effective as someone who spends the majority of their time on family cases.
How Much Trial Experience Do You Have?
Even though most cases do not go to trial, finding a family law attorney with trial experience is important.
Not all attorneys are comfortable taking a case to trial. They may pressure you to settle your divorce case on terms you don’t feel comfortable with. Or they may direct you to another attorney if your case becomes too complicated.
What Is the Best Way to Get in Touch with You, and How Quickly Will You Respond to Messages?
During your divorce case, you may have many questions. You want an attorney who will be responsive and put your mind at ease. There is nothing more frustrating than leaving multiple messages at an attorney’s office with no answer. Understanding your attorney’s practices can help alleviate uncertainty and frustration.
Will You Be Handling My Case Personally or Assigning It to Another Attorney?
Some firms will have you meet with one of the partners for your initial consultation and then assign your case out to an associate attorney. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as a junior attorney may charge less while still benefitting from the support of more experienced attorneys at the firm. But you should get all the facts before hiring the firm. Consider asking to meet the attorney you will be working with so you can get a feel for them as well.
Who Else Will Be Working on My Case?
Most law firms use paralegals and legal assistants to communicate with clients and prepare basic documents. This helps to keep your costs down and frees up your attorney to focus on the more complicated aspects of your case. It’s good to get to know the support staff that will be working on your case so that you can reach out to them with questions.
How Much Do You Charge and How Much Do You Require for a Retainer?
Family law attorneys generally charge by the hour, so it’s important to know their billing rate up front. You will also want to ask what you will be charged when other attorneys or support staff work on your case.
Most family attorneys will also ask for a retainer. This is a sum of money you pay when you hire them to secure their services. As the attorney works on your case, they will be paid out of the retainer. The amount of the retainer may vary depending on how complicated the attorney expects your case to be.
How Much Do You Expect My Case to Cost?
The costs of family cases can vary drastically. An attorney won’t be able to give you a hard number on how much your case will cost. However, after hearing the details of your situation, they may be able to give you a rough estimate.
What Outcome Do You Expect on Issues That Are Important to Me?
As with costs, an attorney won’t be able to tell you for certain what outcome to expect in your case. However, they can discuss the factors that will affect that outcome and their past experience in similar cases. A good attorney will give you realistic expectations while also fighting diligently for your best possible outcome.
How Long Do You Expect My Case to Take?
Your attorney can also give you some ideas about the timeline of your case. Again, many factors affect the time your case will take, and it’s impossible to tell for sure when it will be finished. However, your attorney can advise you of how different circumstances will affect the length of your case.
Contact Eskew Law Today
If you are in the process of hiring an attorney for a family law case, call Eskew Law or contact us online. Our 5-star Avvo-rated attorneys have plenty of experience with family law in Indianapolis. We would love to set up an initial consultation with you and answer all the questions you want to ask a family law attorney.