Remember the last time you shopped for a new car? You probably considered several models based on several factors: price range, your commuting needs, mileage, brand preferences, and looks. Make a smart decision when hiring the lawyer who will handle your divorce. With such an emotional road ahead, you need someone on your side that you can depend on to help you get the best outcome possible as you work to find an agreement and settle up.
Here are the top considerations to make when you hire an attorney.
- Pick a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable. Pick someone you feel you can trust to represent your best wishes. You should sense intelligence and reliability from this person. If you go to your first consultation and already have interruptions during your meeting or sense any lack of interest, interview another lawyer.
- Hire a specialist in family law. Make sure this lawyer has plenty of experience representing clients in divorce and child custody cases. Use the Texas Bar Association website to verify the lawyer you seek is competent in the area of law you’re looking for and also check if there are any grievances or complaints filed against them.
- Make sure you speak the same language, in terms of how you want your lawyer to represent you in the case. There’s a spectrum when it comes to lawyer’s approaches to handling a case. On one extreme, there are extremely aggressive attorneys who will fight hard and argue with your spouse’s attorney to get your wishes as closely as possible. On the other side is Collaborative Law, where your attorney will take a peacemaking approach and work together with your spouse’s attorney to find a middle ground.
- Find out if the lawyer you meet will be the only one working on your case. Many firms use associates, less experienced lawyers, to handle portions of the case. This could be helpful to you for saving money if they will bill you at the associate’s rate. Ask if you will be billed in a separate fashion for associate work and your regular lawyer’s work on the case
- Never agree to pay a retainer fee without a written guarantee any unused part of your fee will be returned to you if it isn’t used.
- Talk to your lawyer upfront about costs. Ask them for their hourly rate and fees and talk to them about arrangements for payment up front. Though a lawyer will be hesitant in giving you an amount for a case because of all the potential points where a case may or not settle, the way they answer will give you some feedback on if you can trust them and also help give you a picture of what to expect. As a rule, the more heated the dispute over property, children, and assets looks to be, the more the case will cost because disagreements will cause slowdowns to settlement.
Woods & Matlock takes a reasonable, cost-effective approach as divorce and family law attorneys in Frisco, TX. Call us today for a free brief phone consultation at 972-972-8820.