Finding the right Riverside divorce attorney is a major decision. That simple choice can significantly impact your entire experience with the divorce process in California. The right attorney can ensure your rights and interests remain protected and enable a fair and reasonable divorce process. If you are trying to find legal representation for your pending divorce in Riverside, think carefully about what you expect to see in your attorney. The following are seven essential questions you should ask when searching for a Riverside divorce attorney.
One: How Experienced Is the Attorney?
Many new attorneys are incredibly talented, but it is typically safest for a divorce client to seek an experienced attorney who has a solid track record of successful cases behind them. Experience will typically mean more comprehensive legal representation for the duration of your divorce proceedings.
Two: What Type of Caseload Does the Attorney Typically Carry?
It’s not uncommon for divorce attorneys to manage several cases at a time. They must be careful about overcommitting to too many cases and risk failing to provide the individual attention each client expects. Don’t be shy about asking a potential attorney how many cases they typically manage at a time. Their answer can help you get an idea of how much time the attorney is likely to spend on your case if you agree to their representation.
Three: What’s the Attorney’s Philosophy on Settling vs. Litigating?
Divorce is a complex and stressful process, and there are several ways a couple can choose to end their marriage. When they decide to divorce, they have two main options for handling the finer legal details of the ending of their marital contract. Divorce litigation places major decisions about the divorce in the hands of the judge. The divorcing spouses will testify in open court on the record and make their cases for things like child custody, long-term support and maintenance, and property division. Divorce mediation, on the other hand, allows a divorcing couple to negotiate the terms of their divorce under the guidance and supervision of a neutral mediator.
Typically, mediation leads to swifter, more reasonable outcomes in most divorce cases. If a potential Riverside divorce attorney tells you that they believe your case can end with mediation, this is a good sign that they have your best interests in mind and do not simply want to bill you for lengthy and draining litigation. Mediation may allow a divorcing couple to reach mutually agreeable terms within a few weeks or months. In contrast, litigation can take several months or even years, depending on the complexity of the case.
Four: How Responsive and Accessible Is the Attorney?
Ask the attorney how you can get in touch with them and how often you can expect updates about your case. Your attorney should be able to provide you with a rough breakdown of their typical schedule, multiple options for contacting them, and instructions for the best time and method of contacting them.
Five: How Does the Attorney Bill Their Time?
It’s no secret that legal representation isn’t cheap, and most divorce attorneys will bill their services by the hour. Depending on how complicated your divorce case is, this can mean substantial legal fees by the time you have your divorce decree. It’s not uncommon for attorneys’ fees to cost tens of thousands of dollars during a lengthy divorce case. Ask your potential Riverside divorce attorney how they bill their services and how long they expect your case to take before it reaches a conclusion.
Six: Does the Attorney Have Any Areas of Specialization That Might Apply to Your Divorce Case?
Are you facing a high net worth divorce, or do you have a professional practice or business you want to protect from your divorce proceedings? If your divorce involves any kind of extraordinary circumstances, it’s essential to find a Riverside divorce attorney who has experience handling cases like yours.
Seven: What Does the Attorney Think of Your Case?
One of the best ways to determine if a Riverside divorce attorney is right for you is to ask them frankly about what they think of your case. An experienced attorney who is confident about your divorce case will provide you with an initial analysis of your case, the factors that may pose problems or act as advantages during your divorce proceedings, and a rough idea of what to expect from the process. Consider their interpretation of your situation carefully to get a better feel for how they might handle your case.
It’s natural to have lots of questions if you are expecting to divorce in the near future. These considerations can help you narrow down your search for the right Riverside divorce attorney to handle your divorce claim. Be sure to take advantage of free consultation offers from reputable Riverside divorce attorneys and develop your own unique questions that might help you find the right legal representative for you.