5 Questions to Ask Memphis Divorce Lawyers Before Hiring
When you choose a spouse, you hope your wedding vows will stay true till the end. But often what was once a blissful marriage gradually changes into an unfulfilling union. Under these circumstances, you may want to file a divorce case with the help of a Memphis divorce lawyer.
Besides mourning the conclusion of this most significant relationship, one of the hardest tasks ahead of you is picking the right attorney. Because it can be so overwhelming, many people turn to friends and family for referrals. But by taking this route, you could wind up with a lawyer who isn’t right for your individual needs. Sadly, if you agree to work with an attorney without going through a careful selection process beforehand, you might decide to replace this legal expert in the middle of your divorce case, which can prolong the proceedings and cost you even more.
So to avoid this discouraging experience altogether, you are much better off interviewing lawyers on your own. As you make your way through this process, there are 5 important questions you should ask each prospective attorney.
Is family law your specialty?
A divorce case is emotional because of many types of issues, including child custody and spousal support. This means you most likely will need an attorney who is adept at family law. A lawyer with this type of expertise provides you with in-depth knowledge of the local court system, other divorce attorneys and the rules that influence your particular divorce case.
How long have you been practicing family law?
It’s important that you hire an attorney who is experienced at handling divorce case: not a beginner. This is not to say that people fresh out of law school are less talented. But you don’t want to take the chance that your divorce case is viewed as a practice exercise, either. You have a lot riding on how this divorce plays out. So you want to find an attorney who knows the ropes, has dealt with a variety of cases and is a seasoned advocate for your needs above everything else.
Will you be responsive to my needs on an ongoing basis?
Hiring an experienced Memphis divorce lawyer is great. But if this person does not answer your phone calls or emails for an extended period of time, his or her expertise can mean very little to you. That’s why it’s important to ask how long it will take for a prospective lawyer to return calls, if someone is available to answer quick questions and if you can expect to get through to your chosen attorney whenever you call the office.
A promising lawyer will have some sort of communication system in place that can handle your questions and respond to your needs without letting your call linger in a voice mailbox for days on end.
Can you share examples of how you negotiated an issue in another divorce case?
Negotiating is key in the majority of divorce cases. So it’s important to compare the negotiating styles of each lawyer that you interview. Through listening to their answers, you can determine which approach feels best to you. Think about the examples you’re given and examine their effectiveness in the negotiation process.
How do you bill for your services?
Money and prices are always difficult subjects to bring up. But this is a topic that definitely warrants discussion with a potential attorney. The last thing you need is to be surprised by a bill after your divorce case is finalized. If you ask for information about how a lawyer bills and you cannot get a clear answer, beware. You could be in for a terrible shock once the bill arrives. Look for an attorney who communicates the costs and doesn’t send you an unexpected invoice for brief phone calls or emails.
To learn more, see How to Choose the Right TN Family Lawyer for Your Divorce.