How to Make the Most of an Initial Consultation with a Family Law Attorney in OC California
Most attorneys offer an initial consultation either free of charge or at a discounted price before a client actually retains the lawyer. The main idea of this initial consultation is to allow the client to get to know the lawyer and his or her practices and expenses, and for the attorney to get to know the client, his or her case, and what the client may be looking for in a lawyer.
Because you will likely only get one initial consultation with your lawyer, it is important that you have an idea of what to discuss beforehand so that you can make the most of your initial consultation with a potential family lawyer.
The goal of a consultation is for both you and the attorney to decide whether or not you want to work together throughout your case. Remember that anything you discuss with an attorney in an initial consultation is confidential, and the more honest you are with your lawyer, the better understanding of your case he or she will have.
Be Prepared for your Free Consultation with the family law lawyer
Do a little research prior to your consultation. You might want to look up the lawyer online, whether you use a search engine, social media, or look for the attorney’s website. It’s a good idea to find a family lawyer who has experience in the kind of law that relates to your case. For example, if you are trying to modify a child custody agreement, look for an attorney who has experience in child custody and the modification of court orders. If you are considering a divorce, look for an attorney who has experience in divorce and alternative dispute resolution.
It is also important to prepare yourself emotionally. If you choose to hire this family lawyer, he or she will be helping you through one of the most stressful and personal times of your life, so you will need to be comfortable sharing personal details. The more that you are comfortable sharing with your attorney in a consultation, the more accurately the attorney will be able to evaluate your case.
You should have an idea of what you want for your case, so that when you discuss it with your lawyer, you can ask questions about your options. Be honest with yourself and your lawyer so that he or she can provide you with an accurate potential game plan.
Know Your Budget before you retain a family law attorney in OC
One of the things that you and a divorce lawyer will discuss during your initial consultation is the cost of hiring that lawyer for your case and the types of payment that the attorney will accept. If you have a limited budget, or if you want to work out a payment plan with your lawyer, the initial consultation is the time to bring that up. The right attorney for you will be willing to work within your budget and to work out a financial plan that is beneficial for you both.
Discuss Your Case in detail with your family lawyer
The more that you can share with a family lawyer in the initial consultation, the more you will get out of the initial consultation. If you have any existing legal documents related to your case, bring them with you. This can be an existing child custody order, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, a temporary restraining order, or any legal documents that might help the attorney get an idea of what your case entails.
Prepare your questions to make the best of the free consultation with the family attorney
• Ask the attorney how he or she sees your case playing out.
• Ask the lawyer if he or she has handled cases similar to yours in the past.
• Continue by asking how those cases turned out.
• Ask the lawyer if he or she would have done anything differently with his previous cases.
• Ask the lawyer to clarify anything that he or she says in legalese.
• Ask the attorney what your options are.
• Ask the attorney how he or she would handle your case if you choose to move forward.
• Ask about the attorney’s professional and education background.
• Ask whether you will be dealing with the attorney throughout your case or if you will be dealing with paralegals and assistance.
• Ask about the attorney’s fees and payment options, and whether he or she will work within your budget.
It is critical that the lawyer answers your questions thoroughly and even better if the lawyer asks you if you have any questions. It may be important for him or her to discuss billing and payment, but an attorney who does not take the time to clearly answer any questions you have does not care about you or your case. When it comes to family law, a caring attorney is one of your most valuable assets.
Take notes during your Initial Consultation with the attorney
Finish up by asking the lawyer whether there are any questions that you should have asked but didn’t. You should also make sure to take notes and write down what the attorney says, especially if you are considering more than one family lawyer to handle your case.
By the end of your initial consultation, both you and your lawyer should have an idea of whether you are comfortable working together on your case. Anything that you have discussed in your initial consultation is confidential, and if you were truly honest with the lawyer, you should have an understanding of how you and this attorney would work together on your case.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with an Orange County Family Law Attorney
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Make the Most of an Initial Consultation with a Family Law Attorney in OC California
- 2 Be Prepared for your Free Consultation with the family law lawyer
- 3 Know Your Budget before you retain a family law attorney in OC
- 4 Discuss Your Case in detail with your family lawyer
- 5 Prepare your questions to make the best of the free consultation with the family attorney
- 6 Take notes during your Initial Consultation with the attorney
- 7 Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with an Orange County Family Law Attorney