Meeting with your divorce lawyer for the first time can be a nervous and uncomfortable situation. It doesn’t have to be, though, as long as you are prepared and collected.
The amount of information surrounding a divorce can be overwhelming, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, lawyers prefer that you take the time to interview them; it makes their jobs easier, too.
Use this opportunity to gather as much information on them and their experience with divorces. This will give you a good idea as to what you’ll need to do to ensure a smooth transition and minimize the effects of an already emotional process.
These are the questions you should ask your Collin County divorce attorney:
What Are Their Service Rates & Fees?
Divorce services will differ from standard civil lawsuits. This means you should expect a specific outline of charges and fees depending on a variety of factors.
You have the standard hourly rate, fixed fees for certain filings and court proceedings, and other potential fees.
Ask for a detailed example of what you can expect to pay throughout the course of the divorce, never make an assumption that what you see is what you get.
What Is Their Experience with Divorces?
Are you hiring an attorney who specializes in divorce and knows the complexities of family law? Do they have any certifications?
Many lawyers qualify as a multi-faceted legal expert, handling all types of civil cases, but they may not see enough divorces cases over their career to be considered a real expert.
Are they Working Solo or as a Team?
Does your attorney have anyone else who will be responsible for your case? Are they qualified experts? Could you speak to them, too?
Knowing how your case will be handled is important. Outsourcing duties is common with large practices, but it’s important to know that your file will be in good hands.
What Are the Divorce Procedures for Collin County?
The requirements for each state may vary, knowing the precise procedures is very important while filing for a divorce. If you aren’t submitting documents in a timely fashion, it can really hold back and produce problems for your case.
Your divorce can take as little as three months to process, or as long as an entire year, depending on how you file it. Your attorney must know whether it is a no-fault or fault, contested or uncontested divorce. There are rules surrounded each type.
What about Alimony?
Again, your Collin County divorce attorney should know if you meet the requirements for alimony payments in your divorce. This will rely on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, income, stay-at-home work, government assistance, and etc.
Your attorney can tell you how you qualify for alimony and what you should expect from your case.
Should I Fight for Child Custody?
Divorces can be messy, but they don’t have to be. With the right Collin County divorce attorney, you can lock-up all the custody rights ahead of time, so that you’re not stuck fighting in court.
Ideally, you should try to work everything about with your spouse, so that there are no misunderstandings are disagreements once the divorce proceedings begin. If not, lean on your lawyer to explain all the issues and variables that come with challenging custody.
Just be prepared for the divorce to take much longer than anticipated if you have to take your custody dispute to court.
How Do You Handle Our Assets?
For the most part, in Texas, the laws for divorce state a clear division of joint accounts and assets acquired during the marriage if the spouses cannot mutually agree.
Outside of signing a prenuptial agreement, your attorney will also take into account any state property laws, as well as presiding alimony rulings.
If the marriage is older than 10 years, with the plaintiff having an inability to support themselves because they are the primary caretaker of their child, then they may qualify for assets to support them and their child’s needs.
This applies to any disabilities preventing them from working, regardless of federal assistance.
Do You Handle Name Changes?
A Collin County divorce attorney can process your name change request simultaneously with your divorce filings. This will allow you to officially change your name once the divorce is processed and have all your government paperwork in order as soon as possible.
If your divorce attorney is unfamiliar with this process, you may end up waiting additional time well after you have been divorced.
What If the Spouse Is Uncooperative?
If you can’t get in contact with your spouse or they refuse to sign the divorce papers, then your attorney can quickly get the courts to serve the papers by certified mail. This means that your divorce proceedings will commence as soon as the confirmation is received.
Then, the spouse must file their reply or risk losing the case by default. Usually, the spouse will recognize that you mean business if you have a lawyer handling your case, as opposed to “asking nicely” or hand-delivering personally.
Get a Trustworthy Collin County Divorce Attorney
Your mileage may vary when it comes to a Collin County divorce attorney, based on experience, knowledge of state laws, family laws, and communication with you, the client. With something as personal as a divorce, you need to be able to trust your attorney with your information.
Your interview should be a comfortable experience, the more you’re able to openly express and discuss your relationship, the better the outcome of your case.
Contact us for a consultation and schedule an interview as soon as you’re ready to turn that page.