Not everyone wants to get to the stage where they have to involve family law professionals to handle there divorce, custody and assets if a relationship breaks down. After all, it is still believed that people are entering a marriage to remain in it, until “death us do part”, but sadly it isn’t always the case. Marriages can break down for many different reasons. You can fall out of love, grow into different people, become complacent with your partner, or even fall in love with somebody else, although not ideal. They are only a few of the potential reasons why you may be considering a family lawyer free consultation discussion to decipher the next steps that you could potentially take. However, when entering a meeting with a family lawyer, there are some things to ask. With that in mind, here are 7 important questions to ask at your family law free consultation.
What is your level experience?
One of the first questions you may want to ask is the current level of experience of the firm that you are attending the family law free consultation with. You will want to understand and hopefully feel confident that these attorneys are experts in their field and will cover all bases, especially as your case progresses.
Do you do a lot of mediation?
Some of the first steps in the process of meeting with your spouse to discuss the next steps of your split is to attend mediation meetings. This is the ideal time to discuss assets, wants and needs and also come up with some plans and suggestions for how you may proceed. This question is important because some cases can be settled at the mediation stage, so you may want to find out what the settlement rate is and how well mediation usually goes for your family law professional.
How do you bill?
Of course, a huge worry for anyone going through this is the overall cost of the process. So you may want to ask at your family law free consultation exactly how this may work. So that you can be prepared. Most attorneys will bill on an hourly rate, and you may have to provide a retainer initially.
Will you work on my file personally?
When you meet for your family lawyer free consultation meeting, you may be meeting with either an associate or a named partner. Most firms will have partners, with associates who work underneath them. Some people prefer for associates to work on the file as this is when you can be billed at a cheaper rate, whereas others prefer the experience of a partner.
How well do you know the family law judges in this county?
Some attorneys will work in different areas, but mostly there clients will be based in the area where their office is, so it is a viable question to ask how well they know the family law judges. It is always best to have a greater understanding of how the mind of the judge will work, and whether it will be a friendly familiar face or not.
Do you prefer to litigate or settle amicably?
Every attorney will have a different style. Some love to litigate and prefer the fight, others like to come up with a solution that means that a case can be settled amicably. It is up to you to decide on not only how you would prefer to proceed, but also whether you are hiring the right attorney that will suit your style. It might be that at this particular family law free consultation you are meeting with only one potential attorney, who may have a different style to another. Voicing how you want things to go can help you and your attorney to come up with a plan, but also to decide who may be best to proceed with it.
How do you see my divorce and separation going?
Having sat through your family lawyer free consultation you have every right to discuss how they may see things moving forward. You will have likely explained your story in detail, and expressed what you want out of it. So it is important to hear and understand the opinion of an expert in that field. You will want someone who is on your side, and sees things from your point of view in order to have the confidence to proceed with them fighting your case.
Hopefully these questions will give you a definitive answer on whether or not you want to proceed with this firm.