If you’re considering a dissolution of marriage in Florida, you probably have a lot of questions about what to do next. Divorce is rarely an easy decision.
One of the best things you can do for yourself, your family, and your case is to work with a Tampa divorce lawyer you trust. Here are eight questions to ask a divorce lawyer.
1. What Is Your Approach?
Many people go into the divorce process believing they need a “bulldog” lawyer who will fight tenaciously at every stage. Although litigation is sometimes necessary, it’s not always the most efficient or effective approach.
If your lawyer favors a highly aggressive game plan right out of the gate, you should consider whether this is truly the type of approach you prefer or first find out which type of case you have, as it can end up costing you a lot of time, money, and frustration.
2. What Is Your Fee Arrangement?
Under the rules that govern attorneys in Florida, attorney’s fees must be reasonable. Lawyers in Florida are not permitted to charge excessive or unreasonable fees for their services.
Your lawyer should clearly and thoroughly explain how fees will be charged. Although it can be tough to predict how long a case will last – and thus how high the costs will climb – you should never have to guess how much your lawyer is charging for his or her time and effort.
3. Should I Consider Mediation?
Mediation can be a highly effective way to resolve your divorce with minimal conflict and a reduced cost.
Read more here to find out that if medication can help you.
4. What Are Your Practice Areas?
You probably wouldn’t see a heart surgeon if you needed a hip replacement. The same logic dictates that you shouldn’t hire a general legal practitioner or a personal injury lawyer to handle your divorce.
In Florida, certain lawyers are Board Certified in Marital and Family Law by the Florida Bar.
These lawyers must meet exacting standards to earn this certification. They must also demonstrate a high level of proficiency and experience in divorce and family law cases.
5. Will You Be the Main Person Handling My Case?
Your lawyer will help you navigate some of the most difficult moments of your life. A divorce can be a time of tremendous upheaval in your personal, financial, and emotional well-being.
You want to know the lawyer you meet at the beginning of your case will be the same lawyer handling your divorce the whole way through. You deserve nothing less.
6. Are You Accessible?
You have probably experienced the frustration of trying to reach a utility company or a place of business and being placed on hold or shuffled from one voicemail box to the next. You shouldn’t have to endure this sort of treatment from your divorce lawyer.
In a divorce, your life is wrapped up in your case. When you have a question or a concern, your lawyer should answer the phone whenever possible and return calls and messages promptly.
7. Do You Anticipate Other Costs?
In some cases, it’s necessary to use third party experts to help achieve the best result possible. For example, if you own a business, it might be appropriate to hire a business valuation expert to determine the fair market value of your business.
In other cases, one parent worries the other parent has a mental or emotional condition that prevents him or her from parenting responsibly.
In these cases, it may be necessary to hire a psychologist who can evaluate the parties and prepare a psychological report.
Your lawyer should be able to give you an estimate of the costs associated with these experts.
8. How Long Do You Expect My Case to Take?
In many cases, it is tough for a lawyer to predict how long a divorce case will last. Because there are two sides involved, it’s sometimes challenging to determine what the other side will do. Unfortunately, you have limited control over how your spouse approaches the case.
However, your lawyer should be able to give you some idea of what to expect based on all the factors involved in your case.
This is why it’s important to be completely honest with your lawyer from the start. The more information your lawyer has, the better job he or she can do for you.
Questions? Call a Board Certified Tampa Divorce Lawyer
To learn more about the divorce process in Florida, or to schedule a consultation in your case, call a Tampa divorce lawyer today. A lawyer Board Certified in Marital and Family Law by the Florida Bar can help you approach your case with confidence and peace of mind.