10 Important Questions to Ask a South Carolina Divorce Lawyer During a Consultation

avatarby Addison Dowling FenderLast updated May 15, 2023Category: Divorce,Divorce Process

Going through a divorce is difficult for you and your family, so you should find a lawyer who can take some weight off your shoulders instead of adding to it. When choosing a divorce attorney, you should find someone you can trust and who has your best interest at heart.

Are you looking for the best divorce lawyer in South Carolina? At The Fender Law Firm, we have been serving our community in family law for three generations. We know what success looks like, and we can help you prepare for a good outcome.

We’ll go over the best questions to ask a divorce lawyer during a consultation. The answers should give you deeper insight into the attorney, their law firm, and how helpful they will be for your divorce case.

1. How much experience do you have with divorce cases?

This is one of the most important questions you should ask a prospective attorney. Suppose their law firm primarily deals with matters other than family law. In that case, they might not have the experience to confidently represent you when negotiating a settlement or going to court with your divorce proceedings.

The lawyer’s experience level is especially critical when your case is more complicated, such as during a child custody dispute or legal separation. An attorney not well versed in family law may drop the ball during negotiations or, worse yet, in the courtroom.

2. How long have you been practicing in South Carolina?

Even if the attorney has a lot of experience in divorce law, you should determine whether they have enough experience in your state. The laws regarding divorce vary from state to state, so if you’re in South Carolina, the attorney should know about the South Carolina divorce process.

3. What County do you practice in the most?

Narrow it down even further and ask which county or counties they practice in most of the time. Lawyers will get to know judges and other lawyers the longer they spend in one place. Finding a lawyer who has a great relationship with the judges in your county can be crucial to getting a fair outcome in a trial.

4. Who will work on this case?

Before you ask any of these questions, you should establish who will be working with you. The lawyer from your initial consultation about your case may not be the one who represents you. The attorney providing the consultation could be a perfect fit, but the one who represents you might be less experienced.

5. What will you charge me for during this case?

It’s good to know what the law firm will charge you for during the case. There could be costs that you wouldn’t expect, like phone calls, administrative work, etc. If other lawyers or office staff work on your case, you should determine whether you’ll be required to pay for it.

This is one of the best questions to ask a divorce lawyer during your initial consultation. It creates transparency between you and the attorney, which is paramount for lawyers and clients during the case.

6. How will I be billed for this case?

Always ask how the billing works before paying a lawyer’s retainer fee. Retainer fees are different for every law firm. Some firms will take the retainer as a down payment and refund it when your case finishes, but others will use that money toward your bills.

It’s wise to ask for an itemized bill to keep track of all the charges during your case to avoid unnecessary costs.

7. How will we stay in contact with each other?

Good communication is essential when working with a lawyer on your case. Your lawyer should be easily reachable, so establish your preferred means of communication up front. Most lawyers are open to email, text, or phone calls.

You can also ask them how often they will contact you and tell them whether you wish to have limited communication about the case.

8. What do you think about settlement versus going to trial?

If you have a preference for what direction to take for your divorce case, you should ask this question. The answer will tell you whether the lawyer prefers mediating between the parties or taking the case to court.

If your divorce was amicable, or you have a simple case, you probably want to find a lawyer who can persuasively negotiate on your behalf. Otherwise, if you must go to trial with your lawyer, you’ll want to hire one with an excellent court presence.

9. How much experience do you have with taking cases to trial?

If you know that your case will go to trial, you should ask this question. You’ll want to choose a lawyer who has spent a lot of time in court. Having a solid litigator on your side can make a big difference in more contentious cases.

The answer could also be helpful if you are leaning toward a settlement with the other party. If the attorney goes to court often, they may prefer to go to trial. You will need a confident mediator if you decide to take the negotiation route.

10. What can I do to facilitate my case?

Asking this question will keep things moving, and a good lawyer will make you aware of anything you can do to help your case. When you hire a lawyer, they’ll need a lot of documents and information from you. Depending on the law firm, there might be things you can do to minimize the costs.

Consult Your Divorce Case with the Professionals at The Fender Law Firm

The Fender Law Firm has decades of experience with family and divorce cases in South Carolina. We are one of the top law firms in the state due to our dedication to our clients. If you are going through a difficult divorce, we want to help you through it using all the tools and knowledge we’ve gained over the years.

The first step of the divorce process is finding the right attorney. Hopefully, knowing what questions to ask a divorce lawyer during a consultation will get you on the right track. The information you’ll gain from asking should help you choose a lawyer you can trust.

At The Fender Law Firm, we will work with you to find the most logical approach to your case, whether arranging a settlement or preparing for a trial in court. Contact us today at 843-379-4888 to schedule a consultation with a skilled divorce lawyer.

Addison Addison

Addison Dowling Fender

At the Fender Law Firm, my wife Tracy and I are keeping alive the Fender/Dowling tradition of providing honest and effective legal services to our clients.

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