If you are looking for a divorce attorney to represent you, you cannot pick the first option that comes your way, because not all of them are created equal. There are hundreds of attorneys in Columbus, but only a handful specializes in marriage dissolution. That’s why you need to spare some time to do some homework, to ensure you are settling for a Columbus dissolution attorney that will deliver the best results for your case.
To help you make the right choice, here are some questions that you should ask your divorce attorney during the initial consultation. Note that most of these lawyers offer a free consultation, so you may want to take advantage of this to learn as much as you can upfront and determine whether they are a right fit for you or not.
What’s your area of specialty?
As stated earlier, there are thousands of lawyers available, but not all of them specialize in the same thing. Some focus on criminal defense, while others in wills and probate law; some focus on immigration, while others in family law. Ideally, you want a lawyer who specializes in family law, and particularly in divorce cases. Ask about the number of cases similar to yours that they have handled before, and the number of years they have been doing it. This will help you gauge how experienced they are to represent you.
Do you prefer to litigate or try to negotiate?
Keep in mind that different lawyers have different styles of settling a case. Some prefer to argue the case in court; others only want to attempt to resolve amicably. While the former is a sign of a great lawyer, it sometimes isn’t the best option for your case. Litigation can be expensive. A reasonable attorney will look at all the options on the table first (with your interest at heart), before opting for litigation. However, you should be very careful on this one – find a lawyer who isn’t scared of fighting it out in court, because there is always a possibility of litigation. Otherwise, you may get screwed over.
What’s you mediation experience?
Find out if the lawyer has handled plenty of mediation, and if so, what their settlement rate is. A lawyer who takes part in lots of negotiation is one you should consider for your case. It’s true that the courts need both sides to try mediation in good faith; but, a good attorney should recommend you do that before even the court requests you to do that. Don’t forget to inquire about their success rates.
How do you charge?
Most divorce lawyers charge on an hourly basis – though you’ll likely pay a retainer from which the attorney will get paid. Find out if the attorney requires additional money for each email or phone call. An attorney shouldn’t charge you for phone calls; however, a 3-minute call cannot be compared to a 30-minute call. Also, try to do as much work as you can, so you can save more.