October 25th, 2023

Important Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Family Law Attorney in Pennsylvania

Ending a marriage can be an emotionally and financially draining experience. Searching for a family law attorney in Pennsylvania may feel overwhelming, but knowing the right questions to ask can give you peace of mind and help make the process a bit easier. Our family law attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP, can provide answers and direction in helping you find a lawyer who’s right for you.

How Much Experience Do You Have Handling Divorce Cases in Pennsylvania?

Hiring a skilled, experienced family law attorney helps to ensure you receive quality legal representation throughout the divorce process. Inquiry about how many divorce cases the Attorney has handled in Pennsylvania can assist in selecting someone who can provide the best possible representation. It’s also a good idea to inquire whether a family law attorney is familiar with the local family court judges and court procedures. Knowing that your family law attorney is familiar with how the Judge’s and court system operate allows them to develop a solid legal strategy in their representation of clients.

How Often Do You Settle Family Law Matters Out of Court?

Settling a divorce through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation can save you time, headaches, and money. Finding a family law attorney well-versed in negotiating reasonable divorce agreements outside a courtroom can give each spouse a sense of empowerment, as they will be making decisions about the terms of their divorce, and not a judge. 

Do You Have Experience handling a Collaborative Divorce?

If you and your spouse are on decent terms, a collaborative divorce may be a viable option for you. A collaborative divorce is focused on reaching an acceptable agreement between both sides, without needing to proceed with litigation in court. An experienced family law attorney can help you and your spouse reach a fair settlement in a non-aggressive manner, which can significantly reduce the emotional toll that a divorce takes on yourself and your family. 

Do You Have Experience With Financial Support Obligations and Custody Arrangements?

Issues like alimony, child support, and custody are crucial elements in many divorce cases and are often sought in the initial divorce filing. You’ll want to ensure the family law attorney you choose has experience negotiating these matters and an in-depth understanding of the laws in Pennsylvania that pertain to them.

Do You Know My Spouse or Their Divorce Lawyer?

Conflicts of interest can happen when a family law attorney knows or has a history with an opposing party. Before meeting with a family law attorney, they will ensure that a conflict does not exist before discussing the potential of representation. If a lawyer is familiar with your spouse or their attorney, make sure to ask about the nature of their relationship, as it could create a conflict and preclude their representation of you in the divorce. If the family law attorney is familiar with opposing counsel, it can assist in the approach that is taken to amicably resolve the divorce.

Who Will Handle My Divorce Case?

If you have a rapport with a certain family law attorney and want to hire them, it’s important to ask if they will be handling your case from start to finish. Oftentimes, family law attorneys work as a team and multiple attorneys may assist in the review, preparation, and handling of a divorce proceeding. When searching for a family law attorney, it is important to ask whether you can meet others who may work on your case. Getting to know your legal team can help you make informed decisions and keep lines of communication open. 

What’s the Best Way for Us to Connect?

Matters involving divorce, financial support, and child custody can be urgent. Find out how a family law attorney prefers to communicate and how soon you should expect a response. In addition, you should ask whether you’ll be billed for discussions with your family law attorney via phone, email, or instant messaging.

How Long Will My Case Take?

The divorce process in Pennsylvania can take as few as 90 days or drag on for years. For example, an uncontested, no-fault divorce won’t take as long as a contentious divorce with a large marital estate and custody issues. A family law attorney should be able to review your case and give you a rough estimate of how long it may take.

How Much Will My Divorce Cost?

Most family law attorneys require a retainer and charge an hourly fee and will give you a breakdown of fees and advise you of any other potential costs before you sign a contract with them. Typically, the legal costs of a divorce that is settled out of court won’t be as high as a case that requires courtroom litigation.

Contact a Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney Today

At Gross McGinley, LLP, our family law attorneys are dedicated to serving families in Pennsylvania with compassion, respect, and professionalism. To schedule a consultation with a family law attorney in Pennsylvania, contact us or call 610-820-5450. In addition to handling family law matters, our talented legal team provides a wide range of services, including criminal defense representation, litigation, and matters involving real estate law, business law, employment law, and more.

The content found in this resource is for informational reference use only and is not considered legal advice. Laws at all levels of government change frequently and the information found here may be or become outdated. It is recommended to consult your attorney for the most up-to-date information regarding current laws and legal matters.