When it comes to meeting a divorce attorney, experienced Austin divorce lawyer Abraham Kant says that “In selecting a divorce lawyer, there is no substitute for an in-person consultation. Like any product or service on the Internet, although you can find reviews of top divorce attorneys in your area, you may not find reviews which clearly relate to your needs.
Usually, the price is listed, top reviews raving about the lawyer stand out, and the lawyer’s availability is noted, making it easy to have a sense of the quality of services provided.
But what about telling your unique divorce story and finding the lawyer that’s right for you? Most likely a review on Yelp won’t tell you everything you need to know. This is why meeting a divorce attorney can change the game.
You need to be confident in your attorney’s experience both with the law and local rules, but also feel you can relate to the attorney on a personal level.”
More than the perfect five-star review, you need a lawyer who understands you and your family’s needs, as a divorce can quickly become complicated; meeting him or her in person is the best way to evaluate if he/she will be a good fit.
Before you commit, consider these topics when meeting a divorce attorney:
1. What is the attorney’s response rate?
Is the attorney quick to respond? Does he/she respond just to respond, or does he/she take the time to answer your questions and give candid advice? Will a paralegal or other member of the legal staff be contacting you? Who will be your primary contact if you retain the firm? The amount of time it takes to respond and the quality of responses is important to feeling heard, understood, and supported both as a person and client.
2. What is the attorney’s price tag?
Choosing an attorney by his/her rate or size of a retainer is a poor way to find quality representation. An attorney who promises a “quickie divorce” with a low rate can be equally as bad as finding the attorney who charges the most and breaking the bank. Financial considerations are important, but as long as the attorney’s rates and retainer are competitive in the area, there are more important factors to consider when hiring your divorce attorney.
3. Is the attorney familiar with the area?
Legislation for divorce in each state and county may differ, so it is crucial to hire an attorney who understands local rules and customs. The divorce lawyer should also be familiar with judges and fellow legal folk in the area.
4. What is your ultimate goal?
Tell the attorney your ideal outcome and ask if it is attainable. He/she should be able to tell you a path to achieving your goal and whether or not it is attainable. Keep in mind while an attorney is knowledgeable regarding the law, he/she cannot guarantee any outcome!
5. Is the paperwork clear?
Ensure a contract is in writing and is explicit for what services you will be paying, should you settle on an attorney. The attorney’s hourly rate, hourly rate for legal staff (if any), details regarding reimbursements for the firm, and the name of the attorney who is in charge of your case should all be listed on a contract prior to signing.
Beyond the reviews, pictures, and exclusive deals, you must connect with your attorney on a personal level; they will serve as your advisor and confidant. While finding a divorce attorney to guide you through a life-changing event may seem daunting, keeping these five topics on your mind will help you evaluate the best fit for your situation.
As you most likely know, divorce is a turning point in life and should be taken very seriously; having the right divorce attorney by your side can help support your family in a personal and legal sense, and is crucial to beginning the next chapter of your life.
Samantha Larson is a writer from San Diego, CA, specializing in creating content to educate the online community on various topics, such as safety, legal news, health, and family law.