Arons & Solomon | May 19, 2022 | Divorce
Many divorce lawyers offer a free consultation to new clients. These consultations give you a chance to learn about your legal options. They also allow you to interview divorce lawyers before hiring one.
The divorce lawyer you choose can alter your outcome. The decisions about property division, child custody, and spousal support depend heavily on equity and the best interests of your children. A creative lawyer can find ways to present the facts so you can get a fair outcome based on your unique situation.
Here are five questions to ask a divorce lawyer while preparing for your case.
1. How Much Do You Charge?
Many disputes between lawyers and clients center on fees. Having a discussion early about fees will help avoid misunderstandings about the fees and costs your lawyer could charge.
New Jersey prohibits family lawyers from charging a contingency fee for divorce actions. Most divorce lawyers bill an hourly fee. A lawyer bills an hourly fee for open-ended cases that require an undetermined amount of work.
You will usually need to provide the lawyer with an initial retainer that the lawyer can bill against. As the lawyer bills you, you will replenish the retainer.
2. What Experience Do You Have with Cases Like Mine?
Divorces can be complicated. If your case involves unusual circumstances, you might need a lawyer with prior experience with similar situations.
For example, you might need to select a lawyer with special experience if your divorce involves:
- High net worth
- Family businesses
- Special needs children
- Domestic violence
When you talk to lawyers about your case, mention any strange facts that might affect your case and discuss the lawyer’s experience handling similar cases.
3. What Range of Outcomes Can I Expect?
The goal of a divorce is to wrap up your marriage so you can move on with your life. Discussing the range of outcomes you can expect in the divorce will help you plan for the next stage of your life.
Your divorce will resolve four issues:
Many lawyers will not make an exact prediction about how a court will rule on these issues. But lawyers can give you a range of outcomes along with their likelihoods.
4. How Can I Help?
Your lawyer will need help from you to get the best possible outcome in your case. The more information you can provide your lawyer, the more ammunition the lawyer has while fighting for a fair divorce decree.
Some documents your lawyer will need include:
- Bank statements
- Tax filings
- Wage and salary statements
- Property deeds
- Vehicle titles
- Credit card statements
- Loan and mortgage statements
The lawyer also needs to know if there are any documents you cannot get. The lawyer can often subpoena those documents from your spouse or the financial institution.
5. What Should I Do and Not Do During the Case?
Divorces can provoke strong emotions. But strong emotions can lead you to do things that jeopardize your case. Some of the issues you need to discuss with your divorce lawyer include:
- Posting on social media
- Communicating with your spouse
- Talking to your children about your spouse
- Discussing your case with relatives and friends
- Moving out of the state
- Making large purchases
- Incurring debt
Your lawyer will give you advice on each of these issues. You should follow the divorce lawyer’s instructions, even if it causes short-term inconvenience.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
You should hire a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable. The best lawyer for your case is often not the most expensive or the best known. Instead, it will be the lawyer who understands you and your goals for your case.
New Jersey requires family lawyers to provide a written retainer agreement when you choose a lawyer. This agreement will explain the hourly rate and the billing structure. Read the agreement carefully and ask the lawyer any questions you have before signing it.
Contact the Bergen County Family and Divorce Law Firm of Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers for more help
Contact the experienced family attorneys at Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers today for legal assistance. Visit our law office in Bergen County or give us a call at (201) 487-1199 to schedule a free consultation with our team.