Preparing for an initial consultation with a divorce attorney can seem a little intimidating. After months (or even years) of contemplation, it’s only natural, though there’s no need to stress. Really, when it comes right down to it, finding an attorney is less a knowledge-based quest, and more of an interpersonal one, where you discover whether you’re a good fit for each other.
So call off the frantic search for paperwork—there’s no need to bring any to your first visit. Instead, spend an hour making a list of questions to talk through. To get you started, here’s a handful of questions to ask any attorney you’re considering to handle your case, as well as one other key piece of advice.
How will we communicate? Good communication is the basis of every solid and successful attorney-client relationship, so it’s important to set expectations up front. Be open about what works for you as far as texting, email, and phone go, as well as what kind of limitations your job may pose. Our attorneys are happy to use whatever methods work best for you.
Who will be handling my case? Oftentimes, when you meet with a firm for the first time, you’ll sit down one-on-one with a partner, but in actuality, will communicate with other associates on a day-to-day basis. Whoever it is you’ll be in touch with regularly, it’s important you talk with that person, so you feel comfortable with them from the get-go. At Rupp Baase, our Divorce & Family Law team takes a collaborative approach, so chances are good you’ll meet every member of the team, so you’ll know everyone, and everyone will know you.
What will it cost? While divorces get a rap for being all about emotions, you can’t ignore the dollars and cents of the situation. Most attorneys charge a retainer that’s based on a number of factors, like foreseen complexities of your case as well as any specific desires you’ve expressed as far as a settlement goes. When you pony up retainer cash, its earmarked for your case and then used to fulfill your attorneys’ services. If you work with Rupp Baase, you can expect to receive a statement at least every 60 days, so you’ll know where your account stands— how much has been used, and how much you have left.
How long will it take? No one likes being in limbo. Being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re going through a divorce is not only good for your own morale, it can be downright motivating. In most situations, our Divorce & Family Law attorneys will be able to project a time estimate for completion of your case at the initial consultation. We’ll do so by gathering some information about your personal, financial, and family history that will start to give shape to this answer. Whether at the beginning, middle, or end of a case, good attorneys will be sure you’re in the know the whole way through, including amending timeframes so you can sleep at night.
Last but definitely not least: Let your gut be your guide. Like all personal interactions, when you know, you know.
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