By Hope Tuber
Now that you are about to start your divorce action, either your spouse wanted or you want to file, the first thing you need is an attorney. The question becomes how to choose your counsel. Take your time when choosing. Do you know anyone who has been through the process? Pick their brains and ask what was their relationship like with their attorney, did the attorney meet their expectations? What about their spouse’s adversary, how was that counsel?
Next, set up a consultation. Most consultations are free. Sit down with each attorney and get a feel for the type of person you are speaking with. Ask questions not only about your case specifically but ask about the firm’s philosophy on how they approach cases. There is no right or wrong answer, the purpose is to find an attorney that will match your desires and that you feel comfortable with. Ask about trial experience. Hopefully, you will settle your matter—more than 90% of cases do settle—however you need to know that your attorney can try the matter should you fall within that 10%. Find out if the perspective attorney routinely practices in the county in which your case will be handled.
Do not be shy, ask about the firm’s billing practices. Ask what the initial retainer is but more importantly, ask about the hourly rate and who will be assigned to your divorce. Unless you hire a solo practitioner, most firms will have more than one person working on your case. Find out how you are to be billed if more than one attorney and or paralegal works on your matter. You can also state what your expectation is and see if the firm is willing to meet it. I believe they will. Ultimately you should go with who you feel comfortable and secure with.