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Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Attorney When Preparing for Your First Divorce Consultation

You decided it’s time for a divorce, and you already agreed to an initial consultation with a divorce attorney. You want pertinent information from your consultation; unfortunately, you don’t even know what information would be helpful for your case. If you’re in this situation, Epperson Law Group is here to help; we’ve gathered the top ten questions you should ask your attorney during an initial consultation.

  1. Do They Offer Mediation Services?

What many people don’t realize is that a divorce doesn’t have to go to court thanks to the mediation process. Divorce mediation is when an attorney helps a couple through their divorce proceedings in a safe and private environment. Mediation can save a couple time and money if they can effectively collaborate, but if an attorney doesn’t offer mediation, it’s clearly not an option.

  1. Are They Willing to Travel to Your County?

Not all attorneys are willing to travel to take on clients, but all divorces are filed in specific counties of the state they’re in. Unfortunately, the divorce process must take place in the county where the divorce was filed. Therefore, the attorney must be willing to travel to the county should the need arise. If the attorney isn’t willing to travel to your county, you may have to find someone else.

  1. Is Their Retainer the Total Cost of Services?

Some attorneys work on a flat-fee basis; once you choose to go with them, you pay the retainer fee and nothing more. However, the divorce process can be unpredictable, and many attorneys charge extra based on additional divorce needs or requests. If an attorney does charge more than the retainer, find out what they’re charging for and how much it could cost you.

  1. How Long Have They Practiced Family Law?

Getting an experienced family law attorney on your side is important for several reasons. First, as with anything, practice makes perfect. If your attorney hasn’t represented many clients, you may get worse results. Second, an experienced attorney will know the judges and courthouses they frequently work in. An attorney who knows the judge can arguably perform better than someone who has no history with the judge.

  1. How Does Property Division Work?

Many people go into the divorce process blind concerning the intricacies of equitable distribution. It’s unlikely that the distribution process will play out exactly as you want, but understanding how it works can help you prepare. Having an attorney explain how equitable distribution will theoretically play out in your case can help you think about the items you want to keep so when the time comes, you know what to argue for.

  1. How Long Will the Divorce Process Take?

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of how long the divorce process can take, and the duration of the divorce process varies greatly depending on several factors. However, an experienced family law attorney should be able to give you a rough estimate of how long the process could last depending on your specific circumstances.

  1. Is Alimony & Child Support a Possibility?

Many people who start the divorce process believe they are entitled to alimony or child support payments, but that’s not always the case. Getting your attorney’s thoughts about your possible child support or alimony scenario could help you temper your expectations.

  1. Can They Check Your Social Media?

People think social media is a place where they can vent and share their thoughts; however, in a divorce situation, what you say on social media could come back to haunt you. You should ask your attorney to “audit” your social media pages to see if anything you’ve posted could impact your case.

  1. What Immediate Actions Can You Take to Help Your Case?

Many court-ordered decisions are meant to be as fair as possible for both parties given the circumstances; unfortunately, many divorce-related decisions are determined subjectively. For example, when it comes to child custody, judges are mandated to hand-down judgments that are “in the best interest of the child.”

What’s in the best interest of the child depends on several factors, and no rule or regulation determines which factors are the most important (aside from explicitly illegal or dangerous behavior.) As a result, a judge has much room to determine what should be important in your case.

Therefore, telling your attorney as much as you can about your life is good. Once you share your secrets, you should ask your attorney if they recommend any immediate action to help your case. You may be surprised to learn how a small change in behavior could impact things like child custody orders and alimony payments.

  1. Will They Be Available to Answer Your Questions?

Asking if you and your attorney are on the same page about communication is crucial for a successful working relationship! The divorce process is far from straightforward, and many people think of new questions as they go.

Some attorneys are extremely available to clients and can answer questions promptly. Other attorneys are swamped with work and don’t have time to answer personal questions. Make sure you and your attorney’s expectations align; otherwise you’re in for a frustrating experience.

Still Looking for an Attorney?

If you or a loved one is still looking for an experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Epperson Law Group. Our firm has decades of experience handling family law matters, so we’re prepared to take on any case!

Call (704) 200-9278 or contact us online to set up a consultation today!