Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

10 Questions You Must Ask a Divorce Professional

Divorce can be a confusing process. Divorce not only affects you legally. Your emotions and your finances are changed. Unless your divorce is simple with no property or no children involved, you are most likely in for a dramatic lifestyle change.

Many times your will need the help of professionals, other than your divorce attorney. Mediators, accountants/financial planners, therapists can help smooth the road to recovery. Sometimes finding the right professional to help you adds to your stress.

10 Important Questions to Ask Your Divorce Professional

Houston has many divorce professionals. You must know what to ask to help you select the right person to work with you. The questions that you ask should give you a good indication of the person’s qualifications, outlook, and personality. After all, after selecting the appropriate professional, you will be forming a collaborative relationship with him or her.

By all means, ask

  1. What training, experience, and qualifications make him/her right for your case. While training is extremely important, experience may be more so. An experienced professional has more than likely “seen it all”, and will know how to effectively handle most situations that may arise.
  2. If the professional has handled cases similar to yours. Again, experience is the key, especially if there are aspects in your divorce that are uncommon.
  3. If he/she works exclusively with divorce cases. If his/her practice is not solely divorce, ask what percentage of his/her practice are divorce cases. A low percentage of divorce cases could indicate inexperience, but this is not necessarily true all of the time.
  4. What is his/her approach and whether or not he/she can be unbiased. We all have certain outlooks that are the basis for our decisions in life. Be sure to ask questions such as his/her views on children and the roles if each parent (if you have children) or community property if one of you was a non-working spouse during the marriage.
  5. Whether he/she has any conflicts of interest. Ask your prospective professional if he/she knows your spouse, your spouse’s family, friends of your spouse, or your spouse’s attorney. Conflicts of interest are viewed as creating a bias in your case.
  6. What hours he/she will be available. Many times you will need the flexibility to meet on weekends and/or evenings, especially if something unexpected comes up. Knowing your professional’s availability will decrease the stress of unexpected scheduling.
  7. The amount of the retainer (if any) and if the retainer refundable. Also inquire about hourly fees and payment terms.
  8. How long the process for your divorce will take. Keep in mind that there could be delays, so the length of time you may be given is only an estimate.
  9. How much your case will cost. Again, this will only be an estimate and can vary with added complexity.
  10. After you’ve given him/her all the detail relating to your divorce, ask what he/she thinks the outcome of your case will be. You should ask for best and worst scenarios. Remember that many things can happen, and that your professional does not have a crystal ball that makes accurate future predictions.

Divorce is taxing in many aspects. Choosing a divorce professional that is right for you and your circumstances should not be a daunting task. If you know what to ask up front, the stress of finding the right professional is easier. If you need help finding the right professional, Houston divorce attorneys can usually provide referrals for a starting point.

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