Questions to Ask When Hiring a San Jose Divorce Attorney
Unless you’ve been through a divorce before, the experience can raise many questions that are best answered by a skilled San Jose divorce attorney. He can help you make sense of your situation and walk you through the steps needed to file for divorce in San Jose. You only have one chance to get your divorce settlement right, so you’ll want a lawyer you can trust to do his best on your behalf.
Interviewing San Jose Divorce Lawyers
You’ll need a sound strategy to find a lawyer to help you file divorce. San Jose, like other cities, requires that you meet certain criteria and follow specific steps to get a California divorce, so the lawyer has to be knowledgeable and experienced in this area of law. To ensure that the San Jose divorce attorney you select is qualified to handle your case, you need to ask many questions.
San Jose divorce attorneys won’t be surprised when you approach them with all of your questions. In all likelihood, they won’t even charge you for the initial consultation, or the meeting where the two of you get to know each other and discuss your divorce case. Initial consultations are almost always free, so you can schedule them without risk.
To prepare for your initial consultations, make a list of questions you want to ask the San Jose divorce lawyers you’re considering. They should range from character questions that will help you understand who the attorneys are to work-specific questions that will explore how they practice law. Take notes on the lawyers’ answers to your questions because you will use them later as you’re deciding which lawyer to hire.
Ask the following questions, or others like them, during your initial consultations. Supplement them with ones relating specifically to your case and how you file for divorce in California. Asking questions like these will help you determine which lawyer to select for your case.
Background & Legal Experience
This category of questions will help you evaluate the San Jose divorce attorneys’ knowledge and skills related to filing divorce. San Jose follows California divorce law, so some of your questions should relate to the state’s divorce requirements.
- What degrees do you hold, and where did you earn them?
- How many years have you been a San Jose divorce lawyer? Did you practice someplace else or some other form of law before that?
- How many of your cases have involved California divorces?
- Which professional organizations do you belong to?
- Have you received any awards or recognitions for your law work?
Fees & Expenses
Divorces can be costly, and you’ll want to know how much you’ll have to budget for. Questions related to divorce fees and expenses will help you determine if the attorney’s fees and expenses are reasonable.
- Do you charge by the hour, or do you follow some other fee structure?
- Approximately how much will your fee be?
- Are expenses included in that figure?
- If not, approximately how much will I pay for expenses?
- When will I be required to pay?
Asking questions about your case will help you understand how the San Jose divorce attorney would proceed with your case.
- What are the potential outcomes for my case?
- What strategy would you use to resolve it?
- What about my case works in my favor? Works against me?
- What stages does a divorce case follow and what occurs in each stage?
Understanding how your case will be managed is important for setting realistic expectations. Questions such as these will give you that understanding.
- Who will manage my case, and what other people will work on it?
- What is each person responsible for?
- Who will represent me in court?
- How should I contact you?
- How quickly will you respond to messages?
- When should I expect updates on my case?
Deciding on a San Jose Divorce Attorney
Your initial consultations should have helped you form impressions about each lawyer. Think about how you felt, and then review your notes to see if the facts match up with your feelings. If one San Jose divorce attorney stands out from the bunch, your decision will be easy. If not, feel free to ask any of the San Jose divorce lawyers for references. Their former clients can provide you with additional evidence that will make your decision easier and let you move forward with the divorce process.