The divorce process in Florida can be extremely complicated and stressful so it is important to select a divorce attorney who is well matched to your needs, goals and personality. The process of interviewing a West Palm Beach family law attorney is a process that may seem foreign and unfamiliar. However, there are questions you should be prepared to ask during your initial interview with your prospective divorce attorney. Most Florida divorce attorneys will provide an initial consultation so that the attorney can evaluate your legal needs and determine whether he or she is someone you would like to retain. We have provided some suggestions for questions to ask during this preliminary interview:
What portion of your practice is dedicated to family law?
There is a substantial advantage to retaining an attorney that devotes a majority of his time to practicing family law. If an attorney has extensive practical experience litigating divorces, paternity cases and other family law matters, this experience will inform the attorney’s handling of litigation and provide insight that promotes innovative solutions during negotiations.
What should I expect in terms of possible outcomes on key issues in my divorce?
While no divorce attorney can predict or guarantee any particular outcome on issues like alimony, child support, time-sharing arrangements, equitable distribution of property or responsibility for attorney fee awards, an experienced Florida divorce attorney can provide a range of possibilities on many of these issues. It is important to understand how a court may rule on these issues because this is critical information in evaluating settlement options during negotiations.
Can you handle the specialized issues in my West Palm Beach divorce?
There are many complex issues in family law cases that require a high level of expertise. If you have any of these sophisticated divorce issues involved in your case, you should inquire about your attorney’s expertise with these specialized issues, such as:
- High conflict custody cases
- Business valuation and equitable distribution
- Intrastate custody cases and parental kidnapping
- High net worth estate divorces
- Evaluation of hard to value assets, such as stock options
- Lump sum alimony versus permanent alimony
- Impact of present value analysis on certain valuations
- Tax Implications of certain distributions
If you have these issues involved in your Florida divorce, you should discuss the attorney’s comfort and experience with handling these types of sophisticated family law issues.
What is your approach to pursuing an amicable resolution, and can I expect this as a realistic approach in my case?
In most situations, an amicable disposition in your divorce case will benefit you and your children because it will reduce the stress and animosity between you and your spouse. Furthermore, an amicable disposition reduces the amount of you and your spouse’s legal costs and expenses during a divorce. However, many attorneys have a pre-disposition toward tenacious litigation of even minor issues while others are oriented to a more cooperative approach. It is important to retain a West Palm Beach divorce attorney who is balanced and keeps you well informed. When discussing this issue with your attorney, you also should carefully listen to the attorney’s reasons for a particular approach in your case. Although amicable negotiations usually are optimal, certain types of issues make this difficult.
How do you handle attorney fee issues in Florida cases?
Most family law attorneys handle divorce cases based on an hourly fee billed against a retainer. The attorney will have a written fee agreement that you should review carefully. The agreement will specify the amount of the retainer, hourly rate, costs and retainer replenishment. For certain types of cases, the attorney may offer a flat rate. If you are concerned about your ability to pay your attorney, you should discuss this issue. The attorney may be able to seek attorney fees from assets in the marital estate or obtain an advance against attorney fees during temporary relief if your spouse has the ability to pay.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office at 561-429-3924 to schedule a consultation.
– See more at: http://pbclegal.com/lawyer/2012/12/13/Questions-to-Ask-Your-Prospective-Attorney-in-a-West-Palm-Beach-Divorce/Questions-to-Ask-Your-Prospective-Attorney-in-a-West-Palm-Beach-Divorce_bl6159.htm#sthash.GU59vmEP.dpuf