The attorney and law firm you hire will dictate the outcome of your divorce, so it’s important to do your research and choose wisely. Wondering where to begin? At the Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth, we advise prospective clients to take the following steps.
Step 1: Be prepared for your legal consultation.
One of the main goals for your consultation should be to find out how the divorce attorney would approach your case strategically. That’s why it’s important to think about what you hope to accomplish and prepare a list of questions before you go. Once the attorney understands the facts of your case and your goals, he or she will be better equipped to counsel you on next steps.
Get more tips on preparing for divorce in our recent post: My spouse just asked me for a divorce. What do I do now?
Step 2: Place a priority on personality fit.
If you’re like most people, you will be working closely with that attorney for several months to a year or more—depending on the complexity of your case. Doesn’t it make sense to hire someone you like to be around?
Think about it. Would you feel more comfortable with someone who is no-nonsense and uber professional or someone who has a casual yet compassionate demeanor? At our Tarrant County family law firm, we match clients with a lawyer and support team that suits the personality style they prefer.
Step 3: Shop around.
During the initial consultation, we always encourage people to get a second opinion. While we’re happy to say that 90 percent of them come back and hire us, we believe it is more important for the client to find a divorce attorney who is the best fit for him or her and their circumstances.
While you’re “shopping,” pay close attention to whether the attorney spends more time listening or more time advising. It’s really important that the lawyer leads the initial consultation—which they should be able to do if you come prepared (Step 1). Our job is to manage expectations, so he or she should also be honest with you so you know what to expect—good, bad or indifferent.
If the lawyer acts more like a sounding board and starts making a lot of promises out of the gate, you probably need to get a second opinion. As hard as it can be to hear the truth, it’s better to hear it early on, so you can prepare for what’s ahead.
Step 4: Meet directly with a divorce attorney, not a legal assistant.
You’re going to a legal consultation for advice, so you should expect to speak with the person who would recommend the strategy and lead your divorce case. If you’re passed on to a legal assistant, that’s a clear sign that the firm isn’t interested in providing you the advice you need to determine whether that lawyer and firm would be a good fit for you.
Step 5: Narrow down your options to firms with ample staff and resources.
Many divorce lawyers out there are a one trick show, meaning they don’t have a team behind the scenes to support all of your needs. This could be detrimental to you from a communication, strategic and cost perspective.
First, you can expect that timely communication will be compromised if he or she is the only one who can answer your questions, especially when that attorney is spending long days in court. Second, that solo attorney doesn’t have the benefit of multiple perspectives and varied experiences in your type of case, which is something we pride ourselves on here at the Sisemore Law Firm. Finally, firms with support staff can bill you at support staff rates for paperwork and other tasks that don’t require the lead attorney’s input. That could save you considerable money over the course of your case.
In the realm of divorce consultations, you get what you pay for
At Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth, we do charge a fair fee for our initial client consultations but you will walk away with a crystal clear picture of what to expect during your divorce and child custody case in Texas. You’ve invested in us, so we invest in you.
Firms that offer free consultations typically won’t take the time to do a detailed analysis of your case, so you’ll probably walk away unsure of what’s next. You get what you give.
If you are a Tarrant County resident and would like to schedule a divorce or child custody consultation with our founder Justin Sisemore, we’d like to hear from you. Simply give us a call at 817.336.4444 or visit our contact page to schedule online.