Chances are, if you’re looking for a family lawyer, you’re in a stressful situation and feel an urgency to move on with the process. However, this can prove to be detrimental to your future if you don’t take the time to carefully consider who you hire. Learn what questions you should ask a divorce attorney before you hire them.
Jon Olinger Law Firm is a registered Indiana domestic relations mediator and attorney at law and is fiercely dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcome for you. His specialties include divorce and family law, estate planning, elder care, Medicaid planning, disability and Social Security, and criminal law. To get started, contact his office today!
Here are the most important questions to ask your divorce lawyer.
What expertise can you bring to my case?
You want to make sure that the attorney you hire has experience in divorce and custody if that’s what you’re hiring them for. If they specialize in personal injury but don’t typically work with divorce cases, you should find somebody who does.
How will payment work?
Know ahead of time if your divorce lawyer works on retainer, what happens when that runs out, and how other costs are handled. Learn what hourly rate will be charged and if it’s charged when you speak to paralegals and other staff. Find out if there are any other fees, such as travel, copies, mailing, filing fees, and so on. Ask what to expect and how and when payments will be collected.
Do you have time to take on my case?
Lawyers commonly work with multiple clients at a time, but you need to make sure they have time for you within the timeline you need. Make sure they know essential deadlines and that those can be met. Learn what their communication style is and if it works with your personal needs. For example, will they call you when there are new developments? And will you be able to access them when you have new information or emergencies?
Will you encourage mediation or take my case to trial?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. However, you have to weigh your desired outcome vs. what your attorney advises. If you would much rather go through mediation and avoid trial, communicate that clearly, and if the attorney disagrees, make sure you both understand the reasoning. You might end up parting ways to find somebody whose goals align with yours, or you might realize why tackling the case from another angle would be more beneficial to the outcome.
What will you expect me to do throughout the process?
While your lawyer will surely handle quite a bit of what needs to be done in the coming months, you will have responsibilities as well. Keep a calendar of key dates, a folder of documents, and proper documentation of phone calls and other correspondence. Make sure you know what your attorney will need from you to strengthen your case. If they advise that you do something (or to not do something!), heed that advice and understand why you need to.
Make a list ahead of your interview and make sure that all your questions are answered thoroughly before you sign anything. For family law in the Fort Wayne area, contact Jon Olinger today!