5 Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce can be overwhelming, and rational thinking can easily get lost in the whirlwind of emotions. A divorce attorney can serve as an even-tempered ally and confidant when navigating divorce proceedings, leading you to the best possible outcome for you and your family during a difficult life event.
When consulting with a potential divorce attorney, it’s vital to ask the right questions. Here are five questions to pose when deciding if an attorney is the best fit for your case.
What is the Divorce Process?
While the process may vary depending on the situation, there are a few standard steps each divorce entails, such as filing a divorce petition and summons and the first court appearance, called the temporary hearing, to discuss decisions around finances, child placement and custody and other important issues. You can learn more in our previous blog post about the divorce filing process.
Asking your attorney about the process based on your situation will help you set expectations, anticipate next steps and stay calm throughout the proceedings.
How Long will the Divorce Process Take?
In Wisconsin, divorce proceedings take at least 120 days to fully transpire, but depending on the complexity of your case in particular, the timeframe may vary. After explaining your situation, try to get a sense of how long your particular case may take and why.
Who Gets Placement and Custody of the Children?
In situations where children are involved, determining placement and custody is often the most important part of divorce proceedings. Speaking with your attorney about your preferred placement and custody outcome and asking questions about how such decisions are made will help them be the best advocate possible during an emotional part of the process.
When parents aren’t able to arrive at a mutually agreed upon child placement and custody decision, the decision may be made by the courts. If this is a possible outcome in your divorce, you and your attorney should discuss the role of the Guardian ad Litem and potential outcomes.
Will I Have to Pay, or Will I Receive, Alimony?
Alimony, otherwise known as spousal support or maintenance, is determined by numerous factors in Wisconsin law:
The length of the marriage;
The age, physical, and emotional health of both parties;
The educational level of both parties;
The earning capacity of both parties;
The potential tax consequences to both parties;
Mutual agreements made between the parties before or during the marriage such as a ‘prenup’ agreement, among other factors; and
Which parent will be given placement and custody of the child(ren).
You can learn more in our previous blog post on the basics of spousal support.
It’s important to ask your divorce attorney what potential alimony payments could look like and how circumstances of your specific situation will impact the alimony agreement.
Have You Handled a Divorce Before?
Having experience in the field is vital when guiding clients through a divorce. The Everson Law Firm’s team of experienced family law attorneys offers compassionate and caring legal representation and extensive background in a number of family law matters, including divorce, child placement and custody, child support, property and asset division and more.
At Everson, our family law attorneys also serve as Guardians ad Litem for Brown County, representing children in a variety of judicial proceedings. Seeking an attorney with extensive experience with children can provide additional insight into your case and ensure the best interests of your children are fully considered.
Consult a Family Law Attorney
No matter what family law concerns you may be facing, The Everson Law Firm can effectively and compassionately assist you through emotional experiences like divorce. Schedule an appointment with a family law attorney today.