Questions to ask Lawyers BEFORE siging a retainer agreement

Go to the consultations as if you are interviewing them for a job. Ask questions to get a feeling of where the lawyers stand on different issues of divorce; for example, “Do you believe children should be with both parents?” This will give you an indication of where they stand on the issue of custody.

Some other questions you can ask are as follows:
What are your fees?
How long have you been in practice?
How often have you had a divorce case go to trial?
What do you think is the most important issue to resolve for me as a mother?
What is your opinion on inequitable splits and how often have you seen them ordered by a judge?
(an inequitable split is where one party is awarded greater assets in lieu of something like Spousal Support, or he keeps a jointly owned business so you take more property, etc.)
How many cases do you handle simultaneously?
Do you have a junior lawyer help you with cases if you are away or in court?
What is your standard retainer fee?
(a retainer fee is the amount of money you pay if you retain their services. Retainer fees vary from two to eight thousand dollars and are an indication of costs to expect; too high of a retainer is a red flag.)

Some questions you can ask yourself after the lawyer interview:
Did they speak to me with respect?
Did they talk down to me in any way?
Did they ask me specific questions about my situation?
Were they willing to openly answer questions or were they reticent with short, one-word answers?
What was my general feeling about the person?

The answers to these questions will give you an idea of how compatible he or she will be with you.

As taken from The Great Escape; A Girl’s Guide to Leaving a Marriage copyright 2011

Note to reader: I am not a lawyer and I am not giving “Legal advice”. I am providing legal information based on my legal experiences.

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