Hiring a family lawyer is a big decision. We get that. We understand that you want to be sure that you’re hiring the right family lawyer to help you through your divorce. So our team of trusted family lawyers in Perth have put together a list of 6 questions to ask a family lawyer before you hire them.
Q1 – Is Family Law Your Specialist Area?
Some law firms offer a wide range of services from criminal law to estate planning, divorce law, commercial law and everything in between.
Read their websites and reviews to see if they specialise in a particular area of law, or only offer services for a certain area of practice.
Chances are, if they specialise in family law, they’re going to be working in this space consistently and have the most current knowledge of issues and cases. This in turn means they should be able to guide you through the process with confidence.
Q2 – What Are Your Legal Fees?
People can often be afraid to ask this question – but don’t be. Lawyers should be able to clearly state their fee structure for you before you engage their services.
The last thing you want at the end of your divorce is an unexpected legal bill.
Different lawyers will charge different rates, and it’s OK to get quotes from a range of law firms. Not everyone has the same budget, and it’s important not to engage a lawyer you just can’t afford.
Ask if there may be an extra fees along the way that aren’t included in their initial pricing structure as well. It is not unusual to have some extra costs during the legal process but if you can be prepared for them it’s much more manageable financially.
Q3 – Can You Explain The Process To Me?
Understanding the process before you hire a family lawyer will help you to be clear on what you can expect from them.
A reputable family lawyer will be able to clearly outline the steps that they would recommend you pursue according to your personal circumstances.
If they use legal terminology that you don’t understand, ask them to explain what they mean in terms that you do understand. Clarity is so important when it comes to having a relationship with your divorce lawyer that is built on trust.
Q4 – Will You Be Dealing With My Case From Start To Finish?
It is not unusual for some lawyers to take on your case and then hand off the work to a colleague or junior.
While this is not always a bad thing, it could potentially lead to multiple points of contact for you, so knowing this information upfront can be useful.
Ask them if they will be personally handling your case from start to finish, and if they will be the ones representing you in court, should your case have to go through court proceedings.
Q5 – Is There A Way We Can Avoid Going Through The Courts?
Depending on your personal circumstances, there could be options you can explore that don’t involve having to physically go to court and have decisions made by a judge.
Ask if they offer any alternatives to going through the courts. Some family lawyers offer family mediation services which can help you resolve your differences without going to court.
Q6 – Is There Anything I Need To Do Before We Start?
By understanding what your family lawyer will need when you decide to engage their services, you can help to prepare them and potentially reduce your legal bill too.
Ask what documents or evidence they may need from you, such as financial records, any court orders in place, and your official separation date.
This can help them to start working on your case armed with all the information they need.
Here at Hickman Family Lawyers, we’re happy to answer all of these questions, plus any others you may have, before you engage our services.