When you are shopping around for a divorce attorney, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, “Do I feel comfortable with this individual representing me during what is likely one of the most trying aspects of my life? Do I feel comfortable with this person? Do I feel some chemistry with that person?” In other words, “Do I feel that this person is a good fit for me, is able to understand my unique situation, and would I feel comfortable working for that person?” Then, you have to find out whether or not that person, that divorce attorney’s approach to a case is consistent with your own. A lot of people want to arrive at a mediated resolution. They’re not very interested in contentious litigation. They need to make sure that the attorney that they’re going to hire in that instance is someone that shares that same philosophy that is motivated to try and arrive at a mediated resolution of your case.
If your case is one that you believe is going to be very contentious and involve a lot of litigation, then it’s important to inquire regarding whether or not that attorney does a lot of of litigation. There are divorce attorneys who don’t go to court very much. You want to find out whether or not that person is comfortable going to court, has had a lot of litigation experience, is able to adequately represent you in a contentious situation.
Then you want to find out what sort of support staff that attorney has. Whether or not you are going to be working with the Senior Partner or whether or not you’re going to be perhaps passed off onto an Associate Attorney, or Junior Attorney. Here at Lewis and Matthews, I personally handle all of our litigation. Your case is not going to be passed off to Junior Associate, and in addition, my Senior Paralegal is going to be working on your case. You’re not going to be passed off to somebody who doesn’t have the requisite experience to assist you in your case.
Another point and aspect is to find out what the hourly rates are, because divorce attorneys charge by the hour. You need to find out what the rates are for the attorney, what the rates are for the support staff, and what sort of retainer is going to be required. You should ask to review a copy of the legal representation agreement so that you’re comfortable with those terms and provisions, and how you are going to be expected to pay on your account. Whether there is going to be a request for replenishment of your trust account, how all the billing is going to be handled. Those are other important factors to find out upfront before you hire somebody to represent you.