Here are seven questions to ask your South Dakota divorce lawyer during your first meeting:
Question #1 - How do you charge for your services?
Most divorce lawyers bill “by the hour.”
Question #2 - How do I pay for your services?
This might be the first and, with any luck, the last time you need to figure out how to pay for a divorce. Don’t be hesitant to ask your attorney for help in figuring out the best way to finance the cost of your case.
Questions #3 - Should I hide or move my assets to protect them?
No - don't hide your assets! Transparency is not only the right thing to do, but it can help you resolve your case faster and more cost efficiently than playing games.
Question #4 - My spouse and I have an agreement, can you just draft this up for us and get us through the process with the Judge?
This an honest and common question. But look for a lawyer who wants to encourage you to allow her to analyze the deal and make recommendations before drawing up the agreement. Remember, your lawyer is an advisor and counselor as well. He or she can help you understand if the deal is a good deal.
Question #5 - Have you tried a divorce case to its conclusion?
Other divorce attorneys know who can try a case in front of a judge and who can’t. Is your attorney comfortable in the courtroom setting?
Question #6 - How do I contact you?
In divorce cases, it’s often important to be able to contact your attorney. Things happen, and the accessible attorney or law firm will be in a much better position to help you with your issues. How does the attorney communicate? Via email, telephone, direct office line, cell phone, text message, all of the above?
Question #7 - Can we stop the divorce if we decide to reconcile?
If only it were so simple that every time somebody filed divorce it was because the relationship was 100% over, and they didn’t want to be together anymore. Reconciliations are real and they happen all the time.