Hiring the right Jacksonville beach divorce lawyer can be challenging, especially if you have never done it before. Rushing through the process to get someone to handle the legal issues is a mistake because your choice means the difference between a negative and a positive outcome.
Research shows that 41 percent of all first marriages, 60 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
Doing proper research is just one step towards making a perfect choice for a lawyer, but it is crucial that you meet with him to ask a few questions. The way the lawyer answers these questions goes a long way in helping you get the right person for the job.
Preparation is Crucial
The first meeting with the Jacksonville beach divorce lawyer is usually a fact-finding mission. Both of you have a lot of questions to ask. A good lawyer leads the meeting and knows what type of information he needs from you so that he can come up with advice tailored to your situation.
Here are the top questions to ask your lawyer:
1. What Other Information do you need From Me?
The lawyer will ask you for documentation relating to your family situation, children, properties, etc. After all, is done, he needs to tell you what other information you ought to provide. Remember, a case is won by presenting the right information when required.
He also gives you timelines on when to get this information. In a divorce case, the more information you provide, the better the outcome.
2. What is the Collaborative Process? Does it Work for Me?
A collaborative setting gives you and your former spouse the chance to sit and work together to find a solution. There are two types of collaborations – negotiation and mediation. In the former, both of you sit down and talk about the issues leading to the divorce to try to resolve them. The latter involves a neutral party to help you reach a solution.
Either way, an agreement is reached at that is binding for both parties.
The lawyer can evaluate the situation you are going through and advise you on whether mediation or negotiation can help. With your permission, he can go ahead and set it up.
3. What Should I Expect the Divorce Process to Be Like? Do You Have Experience with Similar Cases, and How Was the Outcome?
You want to understand what to expect from the divorce process and how it will turn out. Working with a Jacksonville beach divorce lawyer experienced in similar cases to yours is advantageous because you get to know what to expect at the end of it all.
If the lawyer has handled similar cases before, he has an idea of how yours will turn out, which helps you close any loopholes.
4. Will You Handle My Case Personally? Who Else Will Be Involved, and What Are Their Qualifications?
Many lawyers work as part of a firm. The lawyer might assign some tasks to his assistants, which is not a problem provided they know what they are doing. Additionally, it is rare to find a lawyer working only on one case at a go.
A lawyer working on many cases tells you that he is trusted by many people, which is reassuring. However, it also tells you that the lawyer won’t commit 100 percent of his time to your case.
Let the lawyer tell you what plan of action he has regarding the case and what resources he will use to handle it.
5. How Will We Communicate?
Proper communication between you and the lawyer is essential. Receiving periodic updates places you in a prime position to understand what is happening with the case. Find out the avenues through which you can talk to the lawyer to always be on the same page.
6. What is Your Fee structure, and Can You Estimate How Much the Entire Process Will Cost Me?
Every case comes with costs including court fees, attorney fees, and other bills that you need to pay. Talk to the lawyer to understand their fee structure and payment mode.
Depending on the complexity of the case, the lawyer can estimate how much money you need to finance the entire process. Knowing this in advance allows you to collect funds early enough.
Working with a Jacksonville beach divorce lawyer can be tough if you don’t create a rapport with him. Take the first meeting seriously so that you start off your divorce proceedings on the right foot.