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Top 10 Divorce Questions a Family Lawyer Can Answer

Going through a divorce is hard. And it's even harder to go through it alone without any legal help. There are many reasons why you'll want to hire an experienced family law attorney to help you with your divorce. One of them is an attorney's ability to accurately answer any and all questions you'll have about the divorce process generally, and your divorce specifically. Here are the top 10 divorce questions to ask a family lawyer: 10. How Long Will My Divorce Take? Although it occupies the 10 spot, this question may be one of the most important you have. Every divorce case is different, but you need to know what to expect and that your attorney has a good sense of how your case will go. A good family attorney should be able to provide a timeline of your divorce from initial filings to completion. This will also give your attorney a chance to give you a step-by-step overview of the divorce process in your state, as well as cue you into any deadlines or waiting periods. 9. What Is Your Experience With Divorce Cases? As part of demonstrating his or her familiarity with the process, your attorney should give you a rundown of their resume. Family lawyers might be experienced in various types of family disputes, without having many divorces under their belts. You should ask your attorney how many divorce cases he or she has handled, or what percentage of the firm's time is devoted to divorces. This gives your attorney a chance to discuss his or her legal experience -- hopefully in a way that inspires confidence. 8. What Can I Reasonably Expect From My Divorce? This is a broad question, but along with the timeline, you need to ask your attorney, if you hire him or her, what you can reasonably expect out of litigating or mediating your divorce. Your attorney should be able to paint you a range of likely outcomes based on your case, giving you a good basis for what to expect. 7. What Documents Will I Need for My Divorce? Depending on your shared assets and debts, you might need to provide quite a bit of documentation to back up your divorce filings. You may need to bring everything from pay stubs and tax returns to prenups and birth certificates to a consultation with a divorce attorney. And a good lawyer will be able to tell you how best to prepare for a divorce. So know what you'll need before you start you divorce. 6. How Will the Divorce Affect My Business? If you're an entrepreneur or small business owner, your first question might be how to protect your business assets during a divorce. Ask your attorney about which legal structure can best insulate your business from divorce proceedings and whether placing your business in a living trust could help protect it, and its assets, from your spouse. An attorney can also help you create an enforceable postnuptial agreement regarding the business (if you don't already have a prenup) and advise you on the effect of community property laws on small businesses. 5. How Will Our Property Be Separated? Who gets what in a divorce can become a major battle, and you'll want to know where you stand before the first shots are fired. But if not, you may need to divide everything from the furniture to the financial assets. There are two main factors to deciding property issues: (1) whether you live in a community property state or not, and (2) whether the property is separate or marital property. Your attorney should be able to tell you which marital property laws apply, and how those laws will apply in your case. 4. How Will Custody and Visitation Be Determined? More important than sorting out the kitchenware is sorting out the kids. ...
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5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

You don't want to hire a divorce attorney without asking a few questions first. After all, depending on your issues, you may not even need a divorce attorney. Because divorce litigation can be expensive and exhausting, you'll want an advocate by your side who is worth every penny. With that in mind, consider asking your potential divorce attorney these five questions: 1. Can You Give Me a Timeline of My Divorce? You may end up seeking a divorce with your potential attorney, but you need to know that he or she has a good sense of how your case will go. Ask for a timeline of your divorce if you chose to pursue it. This will give your attorney a chance to give you a step-by-step overview of the divorce process in your state, as well as cue you into any deadlines or waiting periods. 2. What Is Your Experience With Divorce Cases? A family law attorney may be experienced in various types of family disputes, but not necessarily divorces. Be direct. It's not rude to ask your attorney how many divorce cases he or she has handled, or what percentage of the firm's time is devoted to divorces. This will give your attorney a chance to discuss his or her legal experience -- hopefully in a way that impresses you to hire him or her. 3. Are You Also Experienced in Child Custody/Visitation? If you have kids, child custody problems are likely to pop up as a result of your pending divorce. The same goes for visitation issues. You'll want an attorney who won't hand you off to other counsel once the divorce is wrapped up but your kids are still in the mix. Ask about your lawyer's experience in handling child custody and visitation cases -- especially with clients in situations similar to yours. 4. What Can I Reasonably Expect From My Divorce? You need to ask your attorney, if you hire him or her, what you can reasonably expect out of litigating or mediating your divorce. Your attorney should be able to paint you a range of likely outcomes based on your case, giving you a good basis for what to expect. 5. How Much Will My Divorce Cost? Your attorney should be able to provide a rough estimate, all told, of what your divorce may end up costing. This should include court fees, attorney's fees, and potential costs of mediation. Of course, each divorce case -- and each lawyer -- is different. To find one who's the best fit for you, browse our lawyer directory for divorce attorneys in your area. Related Resources: The FindLaw Guide to How to Hire a Divorce Attorney (FindLaw - Free Download) Hiring an Injury Lawyer? 5 Questions to Ask (FindLaw's Injured) 5 Questions to Ask During a DUI Consultation (FindLaw's Blotter) 5 Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Lawyer (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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