Would you really know if your attorney was lying to you? Here are some simple hints and questions you might want to ask him/her. Q: Will I win? A: There is no good answer to that from an experienced attorney. No one really “wins”, at least not in litigation or family law. There is almost no such thing because of the high emotional and financial toll of litigation and fighting. What is the definition of winning in a divorce anyway? What is the point of winning if you ruin your relationship with your kids? What if you prevail on some minor issue but you all spent your kids’ college fund doing so? Is that “winning?” Q: What is your idea of settlement A: A good attorney will discuss the strategy of trying to settle. In family law, it is a good idea to know and understand the timing of settlement and how your case could be settled. For instance, you might not want to settle before you are really aware of all your marital assets, that would be foolish. But once there is full disclosure, you and your attorney should talk about the pros and cons of settlement, the ways and methods to settle, the cost vs. litigation, the risks and rewards, and the possible outcome if all the issues went before the court. Some issues in family law divorce are fairly black and white. Some are very litigious, like spousal maintenance. Parenting time and decision making are usually straightforward if both parents are fit. Q: What is the cost? A: It is very expensive. It is even more expensive to fight and argue and to be unreasonable. It is always hard to determine costs because it is out of one person’s control. If you and your attorney are reasonable but the other side will not even bother giving you a counter offer or ignores you completely, it will become more expensive. Perhaps a better way to look at the cost picture is by the hour. Your attorney probably bills on an hourly rate. The longer something takes to do, the more expensive it is. Family law cases can cost $2,000 or $20,000 or $50,000 or more. It really does all depend.