What to expect when meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time

When meeting with a divorce attorney you should expect to feel some apprehension, but not too much. By the time you leave the interview, you should feel total confidence that this is the right lawyer for you. divorce attorneyIf not, think it over before you sign the retainer.

You should definitely have a list of questions to ask the attorney. You should have worked out on the telephone whether the consultation (initial consult) is free, or if there is a charge. Some attorneys charge a one-hour consultation fee and others give you a complimentary hour of their time. So you should know if you will be charged ahead of time to avoid surprises.

If you had a pre-scheduled meeting with your lawyer, then you should expect to be given the courtesy of an uninterrupted block of time, usually an hour, where the lawyer devotes all his or her attention to this consultation. If the lawyer is taking a ton of phone calls and is otherwise allowing a ton of interruptions on this first date, chances are you will never be a priority for this lawyer and so you want to weigh this in making a determination of whether to hire this person as your counsel or not.

You should definitely expect answers to most questions, unless it is a unique issue which any responsible attorney would defer to answer before doing some research. But for example, based on the issues in your case, the lawyer should be able to give you a ballpark figure of what it will cost, based on past experience. The lawyer should be able to assess the likelihood or not of you getting custody under the set of facts you presented. The lawyer should be able to gauge how much child support you should expect, ballpark, or if you will get alimony depending on the financial picture you made that is backed up by documents such as tax returns and pay stubs. Of course, no lawyer should give you guarantees. And so if you are getting guarantees from your prospective counsel, you may want to think twice. The most any responsible lawyer should be able to tell you in this initial consultation, is what you may get based on a ballpark figure that is based on the lawyer’s experience of handling a similar case with similar facts in the past–keeping in mind, of course, that all cases are unique and have their own unique set of facts and components and outcome.

What else should you expect when meeting with a divorce lawye? Well, it is reasonable to expect to know exactly what the lawyer will charge you by the hour, how often you will be billed, how much you have to pay up front, and what happens (if for some reason you and the lawyer part ways) to any of the upfront money that has not yet been earned by the lawyer.

You should also know if others, like paralegals, will be working on your case; and how much the attorney will charge for their time as well.

This is a basic starting point for the initial interview with a lawyer.

By www.mynewyorkdivorceattorney.com

 

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Author: New York Divorce Attorney

New York City Divorce Attorney and London Solicitor Member of the New York and London Bars Interests include: international divorce, prenuptial agreements, high networth divorce cases, international custody battles, abductions