Finding a divorce attorney who is right for you can be daunting. Ending a marriage can be emotionally and financially draining as it is, so it is important to hire an attorney who has your best interests in mind. Arming yourself with knowledge before you begin your search can help you feel more confident about your decisions and help you understand the divorce process. Asking some questions can also prepare you for what lies ahead and help you find a divorce lawyer who meets your needs and meshes with your communication style.
Do you know that the Perna & Abracht legal team is always available to answer your divorce questions here, without any obligation?
Experience & Qualifications
There are a few questions to ask that can give you an idea of whether or not a lawyer is experienced in handling divorce cases, including:
- How long have you been practicing family law?
- Is divorce your specialty?
- How many divorce cases have you handled? How many were settled out of court?
- Are you familiar with local family court judges, lawyers, and other officers of the court?
- Do you have experience handling cases that involve child support, alimony, business valuation, and significant assets? (This question will depend on your specific circumstances)
- Are you skilled in alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or collaborative divorce?
- How many of those cases were you able to settle out of court?
- Do you think it is better to mediate and negotiate than go to trial?
- Will you ask my opinion before planning a strategy?
- What is your strategy for my case?
- Will I be able to negotiate directly with my spouse?
- How long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
- Based on the circumstances, what do you think the best possible outcome could be for my case? The worst?
- Will you or another attorney handle my case? If someone else is handling it, what is their experience?
- Can I meet others from the firm who will be involved in my case?
- Will you be readily available via phone, email, or text?
- What is the best way to contact you if I need help with an urgent matter? What do you consider an emergency?
- Will I be kept informed of all developments in my case?
Legal and Tax Implications
- How are marital assets divided in my state?
- Am I entitled to spousal support or alimony or will I have to pay?
- How do you ensure you are getting accurate financial information from my spouse?
- What are the tax implications of my financial decisions surrounding the divorce?
Custody & Child Support
- How are child custody and support determined in my state?
- What are your recommendations for custody and child support based on my circumstances?
- How can I increase my chances of gaining custody?
- Will I have to pay child support or will I be entitled to child support?
Fees & Costs
- Do you charge an hourly rate or a fixed fee?
- If hourly, what is your rate?
- How much do you require for a retainer?
- What are the rates for the services of paralegals and other professionals in your office?
- Will I be charged for phone calls?
- Do you anticipate additional costs such as hiring a private investigator or other professionals?
- What can I do to help keep costs down?
Find an Attorney Who Always Puts Your Interests First
Asking these questions can help you get a feel for an attorney’s style and whether they will be a good fit with your personality. Do not hesitate to ask any additional questions you may have as well. Talking with a skilled, compassionate Pennsylvania divorce lawyer can help put your mind at ease and make the process less stressful.