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Questions To Ask A Divorce Lawyer in Sacramento

Divorce is a trying time for everyone involved. Nonetheless, there are just some things that must end to preserve any semblance of goodwill between the two parties. If you’re going through this tough season in your life and living in Sacramento, you must find a divorce lawyer Sacramento who’ll state your side of the story and protect your rights in a court of law.

Here are a few questions you should ask a divorce lawyer:

1. How Much Is Your Professional Fee and What Payment Structure Do You Prefer?

Some clients are embarrassed to ask about their lawyer’s rates when, in fact, money is a crucial aspect of the legal process. Go ahead and ask a potential attorney about their professional fee and payment arrangement to assess whether you can accommodate them with your current situation.

These are the standard types of financial arrangements employed by lawyers:

  1. Contingency Fee - This means that the lawyer will get a percentage of the amount you may receive after the case has been resolved. If you don’t win the case or you aren’t awarded a settlement, the attorney won’t get anything, but you’ll still have to pay expenses incurred for your legal issue. This arrangement is rare for divorce cases, though.
  2. Flat Fee - With this payment setup, lawyers will inform you upfront of the total amount you’ll need to pay them. It’s typically offered for cases that are relatively straightforward like an uncontested divorce or a will.
  3. Hourly Rate - Charging hourly is the most common arrangement for lawyers. They calculate it according to the amount of time they spend on your case. Some also charge different fees for various work such as legal research or a court appearance.
  4. Retainer Fee - This is similar to flat fees except they act like a fund from which the lawyer will deduct the expenses incurred for your case. There’s no specific rule for retainer fees, so it’s recommended that you ask for the details of this arrangement.

2. Can You Give Me An Estimate of How Much Time It’ll Take To Complete My Divorce?

The amount of time needed for your divorce to be completed depends on a lot of factors, such as whether or not your partner contests it and other issues that may arise during the process. Nonetheless, a potential lawyer must be able to give you an estimated timeline to set your expectations.

In a survey, they found that the average time for a divorce case to be completed was 11 months; starting from filing the petition to being informed of the final court judgment or acquiring their settlement. The more complicated cases, which went to trial, took about 176 months or approximately 14 years. Meanwhile, there were some who were able to resolve their issues within nine months from the date of filing.

Additionally, the results of the survey indicated that allowing a judge to resolve the divorce case doesn’t provide higher satisfaction for the client. One plausible reason behind this phenomenon is that there’s more time for bickering in court, which doesn’t really make anyone happy. Plus, extending the process for a longer period can lead to more expensive legal fees, which can add to your dissatisfaction.

3. Is It Possible To Get alimony and Child Custody After This?

Alimony pertains to the support you can get from your spouse even after the dissolution of the marriage. If you have kids, you want to know that their future is secure. A divorce lawyer can help you determine if you’re eligible for alimony and child custody. Qualifying for support takes into consideration the length of your marriage and joint income of both parties.

Be honest with your attorney as well. If you’re transparent with them and state the details objectively and clearly, they have a better chance of helping you with your divorce case. Plus, they can give insight into your potential liabilities as you go through the process

4. How Many Divorce Cases Have You Handled?

This question provides you with valuable information on the professional experience of your lawyer. While they may specialize in this particular field, each divorce case is different. The way they handle these legal procedures must be customized according to the best interests of their clients. An attorney that has gone through a lot of cases has the advantage of practical knowledge against new legal representatives.


Divorce can be a stressful time in your life. Getting an excellent lawyer to represent you can ease a little bit of the burden, especially when you’re confident in their ability to fight for your legal rights in court.

Use these questions to get more insight into their professional capabilities so that you can work with the best one.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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