Five Questions To Ask Your “Potential” Divorce Attorney

by | Feb 8, 2022

If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch the 2015 documentary “Divorce Corp.”, which is available on Netflix, take the time soon to do that.  It’s a frightening look at the corruption, collusion, and abuse that sometimes happens in the Family Court system.  After you see it you’ll wonder, how does a person protect themselves and know if their Attorney is one of the “good ones”?

Well, here is a guide to the first 5 of 10 Questions When Interviewing Divorce Attorneys. In my next blog, I will be providing the remaining 5 questions. Their answers may help you determine which professional is the best choice for you.

1) “What are ALL of my divorce options and if we desire to, will my spouse and I have an opportunity to talk together and try to negotiate a settlement?”

Every Family Law Attorney should be willing to (and really is obligated to) take the time needed to thoroughly explain the advantages and disadvantages of ALL the divorce options you have available to choose from, such as “do-it-yourself”, Mediation, Litigation, and Collaborative Divorce.  The choice of which process you and your spouse follow is THE MOST IMPORTANT decision you will make.  Choose wisely … the option that seems best for your family.

Also, some Attorneys may just shuttle written offers back and forth between you, your spouse, and their Attorney, without offering the opportunity for everyone to meet together and talk things through. Imagine how productive that could be! Confirm that the Attorney is willing to do this.

2) “Will you, someone in your office, or a divorce financial professional such as a CDFA® help me to prepare an accurate Financial Affidavit?”

They better answer “Yes”! Data on the Financial Affidavit form is the basis for all your settlement discussions, child support, and any claim for spousal support. Are you confident your budget is accurate? Have you overlooked expenses that you aren’t used to having to pay? Is your budget supposed to reflect current expenses or post-divorce expenses?

3) “Will you, someone in your office, or a divorce financial professional such as a CDFA® review my spouse’s Financial Affidavit for accuracy?”

Some Attorneys will not complete this important step. At the very least, the tax withholding should not be calculated as “Married”. I have seen mistakes in calculating Social Security, and often see many expenses being double-counted. If no one is looking for these things, it could seriously hurt your case!

4) “I have been a stay-at-home spouse for much of the relationship, so how soon will I be expected to be back at work, and what will my earning expectations be?”

This is a major deal! If you’ve been a stay-at-home parent for a few years, your skills are most likely outdated no matter what your background is. You need to make a plan of how to best move towards being self-supporting, so explore a little with them as to their thoughts around this.  Do you get any feelings they may be just telling you what you want to hear?

5) “What percentage of your divorce cases typically are decided by a Judge by going to trial?”

If the answer is more than 20%, beware! That could indicate an overly litigious Attorney who doesn’t really want you and your spouse to settle but may be more interested in simply racking up billable hours.

Look for the additional questions next time, and don’t hesitate to contact my office in Panama City, Florida at (850) 252-6325 to schedule a complimentary 30-minute initial strategy session.


The Most Important Priorities In Your Divorce

Identify Your Priorities, Before Having Any Discussion With Your Spouse

Knowing your priorities will help you be confident in what to ask for, and what you can live without.

Worksheet My Priorities