If you’re contemplating divorce It is a good idea to setup a consultation with a divorce lawyer even if you are not ready to file for divorce. Below are some suggestion on things to look for in an attorney when you are contemplating filing for divorce.
1. Look for an attorney who has a practice focused on Divorce and Family Law
One of the biggest things to look for when hiring is an attorney that has experience in divorce. This sounds trivial, but would you see a brain surgeon for your heart problem? This same idea applies to when you are contemplating a divorce. Do not hire the real estate attorney to help you with a divorce or family law matter.
2. Hire an attorney you are comfortable with and Trust
Some people have it in their heads that they need a “bulldog,” or an attorney with 50-years of experience. I believe it is more important to have an attorney that is compatible with you who will listen to you, someone you feel comfortable with, someone who has a practice with a focus on divorce and family law, and most importantly, someone you can trust.
3. Look for an attorney who offers a free consultation
One of the best ways to find the above two things is to interview attorneys. However, this can be a costly thing if the attorney charges a consultation fee. This consultation fee can be anywhere from $150-$500. This means you interview 3 attorneys you may have spent $450-$1,500 just interviewing divorce attorneys and the divorce has not started yet.
I and several other divorce attorneys I know offer free consultations. I do this as a chance to get to know prospective clients and for them to get to know me. This allows us both to find out if we want to work together.
I never hold it against a potential client who after meeting me decides to go with someone else. My advice to everyone who meets me regarding a family law matter is the same regarding whether they use me or someone else “Find an attorney that you are comfortable with who practicesfamily law.”
4. Consider the attorney’s hourly rate
Typically, Family lawyers can charge anywhere from $150-$500 an hour, which can add up quickly depending on how contested the case is. At our office we have several lawyers that we bill out at different rates. We can match one of our attorneys to accommodate your budget.
5. Ask about the attorney’s required retainer
Lawyers that charge this way will generally want a sizeable retainer up front. A retainer is basically prepaid legal fees which a divorce attorney will bill their hourly rate against. If there is money left over in the retainer after the divorce it is refunded to the client.
6. What does a divorce cost?
One of the biggest question on everyone’s mind when they are seriously thinking about divorce is cost. Is the cost going to be a huge expense and burn through your savings account? Hopefully not, but it is an important consideration.
One way to get a guestimate is by finding a lawyer that offers a free consultation. It is important to weigh all of your options. When I meet with potential clients I gather facts about their case and walk them through the divorce process.
One of the things I explain is in general there are four stages in a divorce:
- A beginning state that often includes mediation
- A hearing stage for Temporary Orders if the case cannot be resolved in mediation
- A second Mediation
I explain that depending on where their case ends up in those stages will affect the cost. The farther down the divorce process the case goes the more expensive things get.
Now is better time to start asking questions rather than later when you are already in the middle of the divorce proceedings. This helps you to make big decisions that you did not know you would have to make.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.