You are probably already aware that hiring the right family law attorney is of vital importance when going through a divorce. But how do you know if the attorney you are interviewing is the “right” one? This is a tricky question to answer because the right attorney for Joe may not necessarily be the right attorney for Susan given that each divorce is unique and each client has different requirements and needs. For example, couples who are able to divorce relatively amicably may want to retain divorce attorneys who are experienced mediators, while high asset couples may place more value on an attorney’s ability to accurately value assets during divorces. Therefore, consider asking the following five important questions when interviewing a prospective divorce attorney in order to help get a good sense of whether or not this attorney is a good fit for you and your legal needs.
- How long have you been practicing family law in Michigan? And what percentage of your practice is dedicated to handling divorces?
As there truly is no substitute for experience you will likely want to hire an attorney who has significant experience handling divorce cases similar to yours in Michigan. A divorce attorney who has “seen it all before” will be intimately familiar with Michigan’s divorce laws, will be able to use the law to your advantage, and will be able to hit the ground running with minimal research. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask a prospective divorce lawyer questions about their qualifications and experience.
- Do you prefer hashing out divorce related issues in court or via out-of-court mediations and negotiations?
Many attorneys will tell you that their answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, but it is still an important question to ask because how they go about answering will likely give you a good idea about their overall approach towards handling divorces. Some divorce attorneys understand that couples with children will likely still be in each other’s lives for decades to come and therefore try to preserve as much of a positive relationship as possible between the couple by pursuing less adversarial methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation and negotiation, whenever possible. On the other hand, some clients prefer to hire a shark of an attorney who has the primary goal of preserving their client’s financial assets.
- How do you charge for your legal services? And how much do you anticipate getting divorced will cost me?
During your initial meeting with a prospective divorce attorney be sure to ask about their fee structure in order to avoid any surprises later on down the line. Ask whether you will be billed by the hour or if you will be required to pay a fixed fee, whether you will be required to pay for any other expenses (for example, hiring a private investigator or a forensic accountant), and how much the attorney estimates that getting divorced will ultimately cost you.
- Will anyone else from your office be assisting on my case?
It is very common for associate attorneys, paralegals, and other office staff to assist a senior attorney during a divorce case. However, if other people besides the attorney you are interviewing are going to also be working on your case you may want to ask about their qualifications and in what capacity they will be assisting. It is particularly important to ask who will be representing you during negotiations and in court.
- Why should I hire you?
It is often important to clients that they hire an attorney whom they trust and have a connection with. If at the end of the interview you still can’t decide whether or not the attorney you are interviewing is a good fit for you consider giving them the chance to sell themselves to you by simply asking why you should hire them. How an attorney answers this question will tell a lot about their personality, their priorities, and how they will likely handle your case.
Need Legal Advice?
If you live in Michigan and are in need of a divorce lawyer set up an interview with divorce attorney Michael A. Robbins today. Mr. Robbins is eminently qualified, exclusively handles divorce and family law cases, is nationally prominent, and has 30+ years of experience under his belt. Contact the law offices of Michael A. Robbins via our online contact form or by calling (248) 646-7980.