7 Questions to Ask Your Divorce Lawyer

Posted August 31, 2020 by admin

Divorce Lawyer Questions

The divorce process isn’t always smooth sailing. But the goal of any good divorce lawyer is to keep the boat moving forward and the waves to a minimum.

One of the ways for a client to make the process less stressful is to educate yourself by asking the right questions — right from the start. You don’t know what you don’t know, and it’s perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to arm yourself with accurate information. Knowledge is power.

By asking your divorce attorney these 7 questions, you’ll be better prepared throughout the legal process.

How will you communicate with me throughout the case?

Setting expectations is crucial for any solid client-attorney relationship. This is true when it comes to communicating, too. How often can you expect to hear an update from your divorce lawyer? What methods will they use to communicate with you — face-to-face, email, phone call, video conference? And can you reach out to the firm on-demand and talk to a paralegal or other member of the team?

Make sure you know upfront how often you can expect to communicate with your divorce lawyer and any fees/costs involved for that communication.

Who else will be involved in my case?

Does the attorney work alone, with other attorneys, with other collateral professionals (mediators, guardians ad litem, psychologists, valuation experts) or with other staff members like paralegals? Who will have eyes on your case, and who will you be able to reach out to if something arises? If the case goes to trial, will the attorney you are meeting with appear in court, or will it be someone else?

These are all crucial questions to consider when meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time. You should know the names of anyone who will be involved with your case, from start to finish.

What are your legal fees?

Coming to an understanding (and agreement) about the cost of hiring a certain divorce attorney is a must-do. Don’t be afraid to ask about legal fees in the initial consultation — you should know the potential cost of divorce and any unexpected fees that may be involved. Here are additional questions regarding fees to consider:

  • What are the hourly rates for people working on my case? Or do you charge a fixed fee?
  • How does the retainer deposit and any replenishment of that deposit work throughout the case?
  • Will I receive itemized bills?
  • How often will I receive a bill from you?
  • Will the court order the other party to pay my fees?

What is the typical divorce process from start to finish?

What can you expect from this divorce process? If you are seeking a divorce for the first time, you probably have no idea. That’s why this is such an important question — it can set your own expectations, give yourself peace of mind, and help you plan for the future.   Divorce cases with children should take no more than 18 months.  Divorce cases without children and child custody cases should take no more than one year.

Attorney Kline has handled many divorce cases and can summarize what an average case (or one similar to yours) looks like as far as time and costs.  His experience will prepare you for potential nuances in your own case.

Do you spot any red flags in my case? If so, what are they?

Speaking of nuances, after discussing the details of your case with your divorce attorney, take a step back and ask the lawyer if they spot any potential roadblocks that could derail the process. Maybe they’ve experienced a similar case in the past that resulted in a less-than-ideal outcome or one that doesn’t meet the client’s expectations. What lessons did they learn from that experience that can help your own case? Gaining insight into potential setbacks can help you and Mr. Kline prepare for the worst and set up a smarter strategy for achieving your goals.

Will I receive or pay spousal support?

In Ohio, spousal support is decided based on numerous factors including income and expenses, not gender. That means it doesn’t matter if you are the husband or the wife — either of you could have to pay or may receive spousal payments as a result of this divorce. If needed, you can ask for a temporary spousal support order while your divorce is pending.

Ohio Revised Code 3105.18 lays out all of the factors the court shall consider when determining spousal support.  Our courts generally look at the incomes of the parties from all sources, their expenses, their assets/liabilities, the length of the marriage and earning ability of each party.  There are other factors that impact spousal support such as the Judge who is assigned to your case.  Each Judge and Magistrate has a different philosophy when it comes to spousal support even though they must follow the requirements of ORC 3105.18.    It is important that your attorney know the judicial philosophy of the Judge/Magistrate hearing your case.

How does the negotiation process work?

Does Attorney Kline plan to use correspondence, mediation, voluntary settlement conferences or other methods to attempt resolution? What do these terms mean? Make sure you discuss this step of the process in advance so you understand how it will work and how it affects you. Ask him to walk you through his or her recommendations, and don’t be afraid to ask for reasons as to why he is making certain recommendations. Not every negotiation method is right for every case.  However, good faith negotiation is important.  Resolving cases as soon as possible is often the best result for the client and minimizes the fees involved.

Columbus/Delaware Ohio Divorce Lawyer

The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC is honored to work with both traditional and non-traditional families to assist them through extraordinarily difficult times. Please contact us with any questions.

What to Expect When Working With Your Family Law Attorney

Posted August 15, 2020 by admin

Family Law

Complex legal issues involving family law such as divorce, dissolution, child support, custody, spousal support, grandparent rights and even restraining and protections orders are often stressful. Having the right family law attorney by your side is the first step to easing some of the burden. But when you’ve never worked with this type of lawyer before or pursued this type of legal issue, what can you expect?

The Initial Consultation

The first meeting, or consultation, is one of the most important parts of the process for both yourself and the attorney. This is when you share the details of your case and decide if this particular lawyer is right for you.  Initial consultations may be conducted in person, on the telephone or on Zoom/Facetime.

Much of this meeting will involve the attorney asking specific questions and taking notes as you explain your circumstances. Why? To gain as much understanding of your case as possible, right from the start. If you require additional support, we will refer you to other professionals such as financial advisors, valuation experts, psychological professionals (child and adult), mediators and/or divorce coaches.

After listening to the circumstances of your case, we will review:

  • Jurisdiction/Venue-where your case can be filed or transferred
  • Merits (pros/cons) of your case
  • Potential outcomes
  • Legal Fees, retainer, and other costs
  • Time-When will this all be over

At this consultation, you should ask the attorney any questions you have. This will help you get to know the lawyer, their firm, and the process you are about to experience. In preparation for this meeting, write down your questions or concerns and send them to the attorney ahead of the consultation.

Keep in mind that this is the initial consultation/interview and you both have the chance to part ways if you wish. If you feel the attorney is not a good fit for you, you can and should look elsewhere. And likewise, if the attorney feels your case is not a good fit for his firm, he can decline the case.

The Case

The specifics of the next stage vary depending on what family law issue you’re pursuing. What you can expect, however, when working with the Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline is transparency, timeliness and clarity. We want this process to be as low-stress for you as possible.

Your attorney will handle any complex details, processes and explain those clearly to you. In almost all cases, the goal is to resolve the case by negotiation and agreement as efficiently as possible. Because each client’s case is unique and family law issues are very fact specific, some cases do not lend themselves to being resolved by agreement. In those cases, we provide aggressive advocacy in all Courts in Ohio.

Going to Court

While going to Court is not the first choice or fastest approach to resolving family law matters, if your case does go to Court you can put your trust in our firm. Mr. Kline has been practicing family relations law exclusively since 2002, so rest assured you have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney representing you in Court.

Along the way, if you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to our firm at any time. We are here for you. And while your case is unique and therefore what you can expect is also unique, we will provide as much information to you upfront as possible.

Columbus/Delaware Ohio Family Law Attorney

The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC is honored to work with both traditional and non-traditional families to assist them through extraordinarily difficult times. Please contact us with any questions.

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Posted May 10, 2017 by admin

Ken Kline Has Been Nominated and Accepted as Three Years AIOFLA’S 10 Best in Ohio For Client Satisfaction

Posted May 10, 2016 by admin

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Ohio’s Family Law Attorney Ken Kline as Three Years 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation. AIOFLA’s annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.

One of the most significant aspects of the selection process involves attorneys’ relationships and reputation among his or her clients. As clients should be an attorney’s top priority, AIOFLA places the utmost emphasis on selecting lawyers who have achieved significant success in the field of Family Law without sacrificing the service and support they provide. Selection criteria therefore focus on attorneys who demonstrate the highest standards of Client Satisfaction.

We congratulate Ken Kline on this achievement and we are honored to have him as a Three Years AIOFLA Member.

You can contact Ken Kline directly at 614-484-0177.

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Kenneth R. Kline earns distinction as a specialist in family law by OSBA

Posted May 4, 2016 by admin

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Kenneth R. Kline has been certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in family relations law.  This certification makes Kline one of a small group of attorneys in Ohio to have earned this distinction.

I am pleased to offer my clients this added expertise,” said Kline.  “I would be pleased to answer questions about family law or other areas in which my practice is involved.  Potential clients can call my law office at 614-484-0177 or visit our web site at www.krkfamilylaw.com.

Kline earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting from Indiana University-Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business.  Furthermore, he is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington’s Maurer School of Law and Kelley School of Business with a combined JD/MBA.  Kline is licensed to practice in Ohio and the US District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio.  He has practiced family law exclusively since 2002.  He is the former chair of the family law committee for the Columbus Bar Association.  Kline volunteers his time at the Interfaith Legal Services Legal Clinics in both Franklin and Delaware counties, Jewish Family Services Legal Clinic,  the YWCA Family Center, and answering calls on ABC 6 “Ask the Attorney”.

All attorneys licensed to practice law in Ohio must have graduated from an accredited law school and passed an intensive examination. In addition, they must attend continuing legal education courses as required by the Supreme Court of Ohio.  Attorneys like (last name of specialist) who devote a large part of their practice to a particular area of the law may choose to go beyond these requirements to earn specialty certification.  This means that they have:

  • demonstrated substantial and continuing involvement in a particular field of law;
  • submit references from other lawyers attesting to theircompetency in the specialty area;
  • attend intermediate or advanced continuing legal education courses in the specialty area in addition to the courses required of all attorneys;
  • remain in good standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio;
  • maintain minimum professional liability insurance coverage, and
  • passed a written examination in the specialty area.

Attorneys who have earned a specialty certification must be re-certified at least every four to seven years and must report annually to the certifying agency.

The Supreme Court of Ohio established a Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists to identify specialties and set minimum standards for certification as specialists.

Agencies that provide ongoing education for lawyers may submit their certification programs to the court for approval.  Once accredited by the Supreme Court of Ohio, these agencies can then offer their certification programs to Ohio attorneys who wish to become specialists in those particular fields of law.  The Ohio State Bar Association is the largest certifying agency in Ohio and was responsible for certifying Kline.

The areas of law approved for specialty certification include: Administrative agency law, Appellate law, Business bankruptcy law, Business law, Commercial and real property law, Residential real property law, Civil trial advocacy, Consumer bankruptcy law, Creditors’ rights/debt collection, Criminal trial advocacy, Elder law, Estate planning, Trust and probate law, Family relations law, Federal taxation law, Insurance Coverage Law, Labor and employment law, and Workers’ compensation law.

Some of these areas may not yet have accredited specialty programs available, and some have been combined.  Other fields of law may be added to the Supreme Court’s list in the future.