Going through a divorce involves making many important decisions. But, one of the earliest and most important decisions is choosing your divorce lawyer. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer is extremely important, as making bad decisions based on bad advice can negatively impact your life (and potentially your children’s lives) for years—if not decades—to come.
With this in mind, you may understandably have questions about choosing your legal representation. Here are the answers to 10 common questions about hiring a divorce lawyer in Arizona:
Question #1: Do I Need to Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Arizona?
One of the first questions is, “Do I need to hire a divorce lawyer?” While the answer to this question is technically “No,” there are several important reasons to hire a divorce lawyer to represent you.
Even though you have the option of trying to handle your divorce on your own, this approach is strongly ill-advised. From overlooking important issues to making other mistakes that could negatively impact you or your children, there are several major risks involved in going through a divorce without a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you make the right decisions for you and your children, and your lawyer can help ensure that you do not run into problems once your divorce is final.
Question #2: Can I Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Arizona for Free?
You are unlikely to find a divorce lawyer to represent you for free. Divorce lawyers typically charge either hourly rates or flat fees for their services. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer who charges a reasonable rate is well worth the investment. In many cases, divorcing spouses will save money by hiring a lawyer because it helps them avoid costly issues.
Question #3: How Much Do Divorce Lawyers in Arizona Charge?
All divorce lawyers set their rates, and some divorce lawyers charge vastly more than others. You should be able to get a clear idea of what you will pay during your free initial consultation.
Generally speaking, you will pay less to hire a lawyer in a smaller city such as Tempe than hiring a lawyer with offices in downtown Phoenix. Lawyers at smaller firms typically have more modest rates as well.
Question #4: How Soon Should I Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
If you are contemplating a divorce, we recommend you speak with a divorce lawyer. Your lawyer can help you formulate your thoughts and structure your preparations, and your lawyer will be available if you have questions as you start making important decisions.
Question #5: Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer If My Spouse Filed for Divorce?
Yes, if your spouse has filed for divorce in Arizona, you should promptly contact a local divorce lawyer. You have a deadline to respond to your spouse’s divorce petition, and you must respond appropriately to protect your legal rights and options fully. Since it will take time for your lawyer to get up to speed on your situation, you should not wait longer than necessary to schedule a free initial consultation.
Question #6: Can My Spouse and I Use the Same Divorce Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce?
While spouses who are pursuing an uncontested divorce have the option of using the same divorce lawyer, this approach is not recommended. There are several reasons why. For example, when divorcing spouses have joint legal representation, there are limitations on the advice their lawyer can provide. Additionally, even in an uncontested divorce, issues can arise. If you and your spouse find yourself in a disagreement, you will need to have a lawyer on your side who is focused solely on helping you make the right decisions.
Question #7: Can I Trust My Divorce Lawyer to Keep Everything Confidential?
Outside of the context of joint representation (in which certain issues can arise), your divorce lawyer is required to keep all of your information strictly confidential. Of course, your lawyer will need to disclose certain information as part of the divorce process, but it will be up to you to decide what information you want your lawyer to share.
Question #8: Can I Trust My Divorce Lawyer to Act in My Best Interests?
All lawyers have an ethical obligation to act in their client’s best interests. When you hire a divorce lawyer to represent you, your lawyer’s advice should be focused on helping you obtain the best possible outcome from your divorce.
Question #9: How Do I Choose a Divorce Lawyer in Arizona?
There are several factors to consider when choosing a divorce lawyer. Relevant experience is key, and it is equally important that you choose someone with whom you feel comfortable discussing private information. With this in mind, one of the best ways to make an informed decision is to schedule a free initial consultation. You can ask any questions you want, and, in the end, you can make an informed decision about whether the lawyer seems the right choice for you.
Question #10: What Information Will My Divorce Lawyer Need from Me?
Your divorce lawyer will need lots of information from you. You can use our 25 Steps to Take When Preparing for a Divorce in Arizona Checklist to gather the information you’ll need to provide. It is a good idea to bring as much information as possible to your free initial consultation, but you don’t need to wait to schedule an appointment if you don’t have everything on our checklist.
Talk to a Tempe Divorce Lawyer for Free and In Strict Confidence
If you live in Tempe and want to speak with a divorce lawyer confidently, we invite you to arrange a free initial consultation at Weingart Family Law. To schedule an appointment at your convenience, please call 480-550-8946 or get in touch online today.