Contrary to what movies, television shows and your relatives and friends would often say, you should handle your divorce calmly and with a clear mind. While the decision to have one is purely emotional, the law and the courts will do their best to drain the emotion from the process.
Here are the best questions to ask a divorce attorney on your first visit.
How much does a divorce cost?
Attorneys can charge you per hour they worked on the divorce or a fixed fee. If you think things are going to get messy, you might be better with a fixed payment for the whole process.
But if you and your ex just want it over with and are fine with splitting everything down the middle, then an hourly fee might save everyone a lot of trouble and money.
What happens to the children?
It is important to update yourself on the laws regarding child support, visitation, and custody. If you have small children, this could become a point of contention. Talk to the lawyer about your situation and ask how the firm will handle it.
An unclear answer means you should find someone else. A good lawyer can give you different scenarios.
How will the whole process go?
A good lawyer must be able to answer your questions on how the steps of the proceedings will happen and how long things will take. Even if you factor in disagreements, they should give you a real timeline, a list of requirements and a good idea of what to expect based on state laws.
What about alimony?
An excellent divorce lawyer should be able to tell you the state laws on your liability for alimony. Some states allow parties to request and even force others to pay. Disclosing your income, assets, and occupation may even help the lawyer compute what the judge will probably order.
The first impression you get from a lawyer is important because you have to be able to trust that person. They should be able to put you at ease or assist you through difficult times during the process.