Any divorce attorney you consider should have substantially experienced in handling divorce cases in your area. An experienced divorce attorney will know what to expect of the judges in your jurisdiction and should be able to use this knowledge to your advantage. Additionally, the attorney should practice primarily in the field of divorce law.
The best way to decide which divorce attorney to use is to find out what former clients have to say about the attorney. If you do not know someone who has been a client of that particular divorce attorney, you should consider asking the attorney for a list of clients that you can contact who can describe their experience with the attorney.
When a client becomes unhappy with a divorce attorney, one of the most common complaints is that they were unable to communicate with the attorney. It is very important that your divorce attorney be accessible and prompt in responding to your phone calls, emails, and requests for meetings. While you can ask the divorce attorney about their office policy, this is another area where you can best assess the divorce attorney by hearing what former clients have to say.
When you make your initial appointment with the divorce attorney, you should inquire about a consultation fee. Some attorneys do brief initial consultations for nothing, however most experienced divorce attorneys will charge between $100.00 and $200.00 as a consultation fee, or will charge their normal hourly rate.
Find out what the attorney's hourly rate is, what the up front retainer will be, whether any portion of the retainer is refundable if it is not used, and how often you can expect to receive invoices that detail their hourly charges and expenses.
While all the above are important, there is one final question you should ask yourself before hiring a divorce attorney. Are you comfortable with that attorney and are you confident in his or her abilities? If the answer is anything other than a resounding yes, you should keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence.