When you’re going through a divorce and looking for a divorce attorney in Fort Worth, Dallas, or the surrounding area, remember that you don’t have to hire the first attorney you find online. In fact, choosing the right lawyer to guide you through your divorce is one of the most important divorce-related decisions you’ll make.
Even if you’ve received a referral to a family law attorney from a friend or another lawyer, you should still do your homework; check the attorney’s qualifications, and make sure he or she has enough experience to handle your case.
How to Find the Right Divorce Attorney
There are lots of lawyers out there, and many advertise themselves as “family law” or “divorce” attorneys. However, family law is a subspecialty that involves complex legal principles, which take time and experience to master. Within the area of family law, there are even further subspecialties, such as custody law, international custody law, guardianship, and an area of the law involving Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), which are special orders required to divide certain types of retirement benefits.
At our divorce law offices of Marx, Altman and Johnson we focus specifically on divorce as well as the areas that are tied directly to divorce such as child custody and child support. What really separates us from the rest of divorce attorneys is that we focus on helping get our clients through their divorce as quickly as possible while providing the best service and clear communication throughout the process. Because of this, we can provide excellent service to all of our clients quickly and for the best possible outcome.
Additional Costs of Divorce You May Face
Besides our fee, there are financial costs to a divorce that include:
- Financial disclosure requirements between spouses
- Restraining orders prohibiting spouses from changing beneficiary designations or transferring assets before and during the divorce
- Alimony (how to calculate income available for alimony and the special factors courts consider when determining setting payments)
- Child support (review child support costs in Texas)
- The division of property and assets, including real property, collectibles, venture capital interests, stock option portfolios, good will, or other business interests, and
- The division of retirement benefits.
Whether you have an easy going of dividing assets or not, hiring an experienced divorce attorney in North Texas will make the entire process much easier on you. If it’s an agreed divorce, it can be even easier on both you and your spouse. However, if you’re facing a contested divorce case that involves substantial assets, complicated financial questions, or a complex custody dispute, you should really look at the number of divorce cases that your attorney has handled in their career in the state of Texas.
Ten Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney
We’ve provided a few questions you might consider asking during your initial interview with a family law attorney. These may help you determine whether this lawyer is right for your case.
1. Do you specialize in divorces, or are divorces just a part of your practice? How long have you been practicing family law? How many family law cases have you handled? Do you practice specifically in divorce or do you handle other areas of family law such as estates, probate, etc?
2. What is your strategy for my case? How long will it take to resolve my case?
3. What are your response times to phone calls / emails?
4. Who at your office will be handling my divorce case? What experience do they have? Will I meet them?
5. How will you charge me? What is your hourly rate? Or do you charge a one-time fee? What is your retainer up front?
6. What costs can I expect to pay for my case?
7. What’s your estimate of the total cost of this divorce? This can vary greatly depending on your specific case. However, we can offer a pretty accurate estimate if you answer some questions during your free initial divorce consultation.
8. Do you allow me to negotiate directly with my spouse or will you communicate with my spouse and her attorney? How can I keep the cost of my divorce down? Are there tasks that I can do myself to cut down on the amount you will charge me?
9. Based on what you know about my case, how would you predict a judge would rule on it?
10. What can you do to help me understand the tax effect of the decisions I will have to make?