Before you hire a divorce lawyer, it’s critical to do a little comparison shopping first. How do you accomplish that goal?
Interview multiple lawyers (2 or 3) to find an attorney who is a good fit for you—strategically, ethically and personality-wise. Here’s what to expect during an initial legal consultation at a family law firm like ours and how to prepare.
Most reputable divorce attorneys charge a fee for the initial consultation.
You can expect to pay about $150-200 on average. Granted, you may end up spending $500-600 before you find a lawyer who is a good fit for you. However, it’s a worthwhile investment that could save you the thousands of dollars you’d have to pay to switch divorce attorneys because the first one didn’t work out. (Unfortunately, this happens a lot when people don’t take time to interview and choose the right attorney.)
If your attorney isn’t communicating with you, you can switch lawyers. Learn more in this recent post: Can I change attorneys once divorce proceedings are underway?
You’ll need to submit paperwork prior to the consultation.
And we’re not talking about filling out a form in the waiting room the day of your consult. Our Fort Worth family law firm requires prospective clients to submit pertinent information in advance. That way our team and founder divorce attorney Justin Sisemore have time to review your case and prepare for the meeting.
During initial legal consultations with our family law attorneys in Fort Worth, prospective clients can expect a thorough case review. They can also expect to walk away knowing exactly how we would approach their case. We cover specifics, not the generalities you typically get during a free legal consultation.
We have also made the preparatory process really easy, thorough and private by allowing clients to submit their information online through our secure digital platform. Getting paperwork organized and submitted in advance also benefits you. It forces you to think through concerns, timelines and goals, which is an important part of the divorce process.
The other upside of preparing and submitting information in advance is the ability to get the ball rolling on your case right away. It also enables the firm to act quickly and file relevant orders should an emergency come up.
You should treat the initial legal consultation like an audition.
We believe both the attorney and prospective client should be invested in the “audition” process. You’re getting to know the attorney and he or she is getting to know you. It’s also really important to trust your gut and take time to weigh your options when possible.
During the consultation, you’ll want to determine whether:
- The attorney’s ethics align with yours.
- You and the attorney agree on a strategy and how to approach your case.
- The attorney’s personality meshes well with yours.
Personality conflict is the No. 1 killer of the attorney-client relationship. Along with nonpayment of contract, it’s also one of the few reasons an attorney can withdraw from a case, so be sure the attorney you choose is someone you feel comfortable spending a lot of time with. If he or she rubs you the wrong way, RUN.
Legal consultations about divorce and child custody have gone virtual.
Prior to COVID-19, we conducted most initial divorce consultations in person at our Fort Worth family law firm—because that’s just the way it’s always been done. During the spring 2020 lockdown, in-person consults simply were not an option, so phone and videoconference consults became the norm.
The new virtual process has improved efficiencies, and it’s also reduced turnaround time needed to address client needs. (If an in-person consultation is a must, we’re happy to arrange that for you.)
Most of our clients love the new virtual format. Not only does it save time (you don’t need to drive to the lawyer’s office or take time off of work), clients say it’s much less stressful, and they feel less pressure to make a decision about hiring an attorney—which is a good thing.
Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of hiring a divorce lawyer who is a good fit for you. In fact, if we don’t believe our firm is a good fit for you—we don’t agree on strategy, personalities don’t mesh, etc.—we won’t take your case. We will explain why, and you will walk away with specific, actionable legal advice—but we won’t take your case.
Interested in scheduling a legal consultation with a family law firm in Tarrant County?
If you need a divorce attorney in Fort Worth or surrounding communities, our compassionate and experienced family lawyers are here to help. To schedule a confidential case review with our founder Justin Sisemore, contact us. You can reach our Fort Worth law firm at (817) 336-4444 or connect with us online.
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