Things to Consider When Hiring a Sacramento Divorce Attorney
Divorce is an emotional, complicated, trying time. If you believe your marriage is over, it’s time to talk to a Sacramento divorce attorney. But finding one can also be complicated and trying, if not emotional. We can help.
This article will serve as the outline to the most important considerations that go into finding a Sacramento divorce attorney. And not just any attorney, we want you to find the right one for you.
Among the many factors to consider when looking for a lawyer are:
- The lawyer’s background and experience
- The lawyer’s advice and strategy for you
- The legal fees you’ll need to pay
- Your comfort level with the lawyer you hire
These will be the main themes you’ll keep in mind as you interview prospective lawyers you’re considering hiring. Most Sacramento divorce lawyers are willing to sit down with you for a brief meeting called an initial consultation.
Initial consultations can be very useful. While you ask questions and discuss your situation, keep these themes in mind and later use them to compare all the Sacramento divorce attorneys you met.
Your circumstances dictate the amount of experience you need your Sacramento divorce attorney to have. If you have little property, no children and no disagreements between you and your spouse, you don’t need the highest-priced, most-feared divorce in the Central Valley. Someone fairly new to family law should be able to handle your uncontested divorce.
On the other hand, you may need a more experienced lawyer if you have:
- Substantial assets to divide
- Children you both want primary custody of
- A business you share with your spouse
- Complicated tax issues
At your initial consultations, you’ll want to know how often the lawyers have helped clients facing similar issues file for divorce in Sacramento. It’s also helpful to have an attorney who is familiar with courtroom personnel and the personalities of the judges who oversee divorces.
Your Possible Strategies
Each person’s divorce is unique, and each attorney may have slightly different suggestions for you. You don’t want to leave your initial consultations without discussing your options.
If your divorce involves the division of a lot of property, bring documents describing those assets, such as:
- Bank statements
- A copy of the deed to your house and a recent mortgage statement, if you own one
- Statements from other financial vehicles, such as retirement accounts or stock holdings
- A list of other major items you own, such as your cars, jewelry musical instruments and artwork
If you are alleging your spouse abused you, it would also be helpful to gather up any supporting evidence, such as photos, police reports and medical reports.
Make your goals clear to each Sacramento divorce lawyer you meet. Then ask them for their best advice for achieving those goals.
Most Sacramento divorce lawyers charge by the hour, so it will be easy to compare rates. Some lawyers who handle simple, uncontested divorces may charge a flat fee, but this is less common.
Hourly fees can vary. Some factors that may sway an hourly fee either up or down are the lawyer’s:
- Overhead to run the office
Even location can affect the price you pay for legal services. For example, the going rate in Colonial Village may be different from the going rate in South Land Park.
Make sure you also ask about expenses outside of the lawyer’s time. You’re likely to pay for things such as photocopying, court fees and the use of a paralegal. Try to get an idea of how much these expenses might total.
You may be able to talk a Sacramento divorce attorney’s rate down, but only before you hire one. Once you have hired a lawyer, it is too late to renegotiate fees.
Your Comfort Level with a Sacramento Divorce Attorney
Finally, there’s a whole other consideration that can be best described as your gut feelings. You’ll be working with your lawyer for a while during probably the more challenging periods of your life. You need someone you can trust and someone who makes you feel comfortable.
When you consider all these factors together – a lawyer’s experience in light of your needs, the advice offered, how much you will pay and your comfort level – you should be able to identify the best Sacramento divorce attorney for you. Once you have hired him, you can move forward with your divorce plans.