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By John Ventura, Mary Reed

Part of Divorce For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Hiring a trustworthy divorce attorney is an important decision, whether you work with them from the beginning to end of your divorce or on a limited basis. Your attorney can affect the cost, course, and outcome of your divorce. To find the right attorney to help with your divorce, ask these questions when you meet:

  • How long have you been practicing divorce law and how many cases have you handled?

  • If I hire you, will you or someone else with your firm handle my case?

  • If my spouse and I can’t agree on an issue in our divorce, how would you to help us break our stalemate? Would you suggest we try mediation?

  • Do you practice collaborative divorce law?

  • Have you ever had a case like mine? How did you handle it?

  • What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of my divorce case?

  • Knowing what you know about my situation, how would you proceed if I were to hire you?

  • If I call you, how quickly can I expect to have my calls returned?

  • What is your hourly rate and can you give me an estimate of how much my divorce will cost?

  • Will I have to pay you a retainer? If so, how much will it be?

  • What sort of expenses should I expect to pay, and how much do you estimate they will be? Are there things I can do to minimize them?

  • Will you provide me with an estimate of my expenses and an explanation of what those expenses may include?

  • If my divorce goes to trial, will you continue to represent me or will you recommend another attorney?