Meeting with a family law attorney for the first time

On behalf of Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C. posted in divorce on Saturday, October 8, 2016.

Whether your divorce or child custody case promises to be amicable or contentious, it is important to seek the services of an attorney you can trust. In order to better ensure that you find an attorney who will best “fit” your vision for your case, it is generally a good idea to meet with prospective candidates for an initial consultation before hiring any of those candidates outright.

But how should a consultation proceed? What questions should you have answered before hiring legal representation? How will you know if an attorney is the right “fit” for you? These are all excellent questions. Thankfully, they are attached to relatively straightforward answers.

An initial consultation

An initial consultation does not obligate you to work with the attorney you are meeting with. As a result, you will have no reason to be nervous. In fact, you may choose to view this meeting as an interview of sorts. You are essentially meeting in order to determine whether this attorney can properly represent you and your vision for your divorce or custody case.

As such, it will fall to you to ask any questions you need answered in order to make an informed decision. You may have concerns about how this attorney may handle fees. It is generally a good idea to ask whether the attorney you are meeting with will be the only one working on your case or whether his or her colleagues may be working on your case as well. You may also want to ask about how quickly you can expect answers to any questions you may have submitted by phone or email.

The right “fit”

The practical questions outlined above are certainly important. After all, if an attorney does not fit your budget or never returns calls, this will impact your ability to work with him or her. But perhaps the most important questions you can ask during a consultation are personal questions. These questions will best reflect whether this attorney is someone you can trust and can trust to advocate on your behalf.

For example, you may want to ask whether the attorney prefers to work with clients whose cases are generally amicable or generally contentious. You may wish to ask how the attorney handles cases that get highly emotional and dramatic. Whatever your vision is for your process, it will help you to know how your attorney plans to embrace or reject that vision.

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