What questions should you ask your Virginia lawyer?
The decision to meet with an attorney to discuss a separation can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. An experienced attorney will make you feel at ease and will inform you of all the important points about the coming process. However, in order to make the most out of an initial consultation, it helps to know what questions to ask.
Below, we’ve listed 4 questions that you should ask when you have your meeting.
- Do you specialize in family law in Virginia? If so, for how long?Family law, which includes divorce, custody, visitation, child support, adoption, etc., is a very specialized area of the law. Divorce issues can be complex, so you should make sure the attorney has significant experience and/or specializes in family law.
- What can I do to keep costs down?A time-consuming part of the process often involves the gathering and organizing of legal documents, financial records, and other material that can be relevant to the divorce process. The more you are able to take of this task, the less time your attorney will have to spend doing it, and that will keep costs down. Also, listening and following your attorney’s recommendations could save you money in the long run. Emotions run high during divorces and that may cause you or your spouse to say things you would not normally say, and do things you would not normally do. Follow your attorney’s advice on how to handle these situations.
- Do you have experience in litigation?It is the goal of most attorneys to avoid having to go to court. However, if it becomes necessary, you will want to find an attorney that has experience litigating – i.e. taking depositions, presenting your interests in a courtroom setting, and arguing contested hearings. These procedures involve additional understandings of procedure that are separate from mediation and initial negotiations. Don’t be afraid to inquire about prior cases and their outcomes.
- Are you familiar with the judges in our city/county?A lawyer’s knowledge and familiarity with the judges in your city/county can be a helpful indicator of their level of experience in the area, as well as their ability to make minor adjustments in strategy depending on the judge that will hear the case. The more familiar with the judges your attorney is, the better prepared they will be, and the better they can represent your interests.
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Separation, divorce, and family law matters can be a very emotional, difficult, and complex process. Hiring the right attorney for your situation is an important decision, and we will take care to inform you of all the relevant points regarding your situation to help you make the best decision.