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How to Choose a Divorce or Family Lawyer

Your Matrimonial and Divorce Attorneys in Manhattan

So you need a family lawyer in Manhattan…

Whether you are about to marry and seek a prenuptial agreement, are approaching a divorce, or need legal assistance with any family issues in between or even after those points, choosing a family or divorce lawyer is a monumental undertaking. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. The decades of collective experience held by the attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP have revealed certain truths for any successful lawyer-client relationship. When you are searching for your family, divorce, or matrimonial attorney, keep the following in mind:

Qualities to Seek:

  • An attorney you feel comfortable working and speaking with, and in whom you have confidence.
  • An attorney who will explain the process and applicable law to you in terms you understand.
  • An attorney within your financial means.
  • An attorney who has a facility with numbers and is financially sophisticated.
  • An attorney who is responsive to your needs.
  • An attorney who has available to him/her sufficient support resources (e.g. paralegals, secretaries, associate attorneys).
  • An attorney who is accessible to you (and promptly returns all phone calls).
  • An attorney who specializes in matrimonial/divorce or family law and who has in-depth experience in these fields.

Questions to Ask:

  • How long have you been practicing matrimonial/divorce/family law in Manhattan?
  • What, if any, is the extent of your “in court” experience?
  • Does your firm handle other matters besides matrimonial/divorce/family law?  If so, what percentage of your law practice is represented by matrimonial/divorce/family law cases?
  • Are you familiar with the New York courts and the New York judges?
  • What are the options available to resolve my case?  In my particular situation, which would you recommend?
  • What is the extent of your support staff?
  • Who will handle my case?  Will it be the partner or an associate or both?
  • What are your hourly rates?
  • What are the hourly rates of any associates and/or paralegals who will work on my case?
  • Will you provide me with an itemized monthly bill?
  • How do you calculate your billable hours?
  • If I have a question about my case, can I call you?  How quickly can I expect to have my calls returned?
  • If we are unable to negotiate a settlement and my divorce goes to trial, will your firm represent me in court or recommend me to another firm?
  • What can I do to minimize my legal expenses?
  • What do you expect from me?
  • What documents do I need to produce?