Preparing for a Divorce Consultation

Meeting with an attorney and gathering information is an integral first step in the divorce process. It is recommended you consult with a few different law firms before determining which team of attorneys will best be able to represent you throughout the duration of your case. In order for you to get the most out of your initial consultation, you should make sure to discuss these points:

Experience and Style of Practice

If you haven’t had the opportunity to research the attorney, you may not be aware of much experience they have practicing matrimonial and family law. The kind of lawyer you hire is dependent on the type of case you have. For instance, if your case contested, you will benefit from retaining an aggressive litigator. It is okay to inquire about this during your initial consultation. Many attorneys will gladly provide you with a quick rundown of their experience in the field, as well as their general style of practice, if asked.

If you have a few spare minutes prior to your consultation appointment, it is recommended that you acquire a little bit of background information for the attorney you are meeting with. Law firm websites typically have biographies for their staff, which will detail their education, areas of specialty, and outline relevant work or volunteer experience. A great way to get an unbiased opinion on a law firm is to read online reviews from previous clients. Yelp, Avvo, and Google are great resources when it comes to researching your prospective attorney(s).

Estimated Case Timeline

It is impossible to accurately provide a timeline for a divorce or child custody case. Uncontested matters can morph into contested actions rather quickly and unexpectedly, however, an experienced attorney can provide a rough estimate for how long it will take for your case to be completed. This estimated time will be case specific, and will vary based on what kind of case you have and how willing both parties are to participate in the action.

The New York Unified Court System is currently experiencing an extreme backlog when it comes to matrimonial cases. This means that a Judgment of Divorce will not be signed by a judge for a period of around 6 months after all final papers have been correctly submitted to the court. Unless one of the parties meets certain statutory requirements, there is little that can be done to expedite the process. Such requirements can include urgent medical issues, or the intention to remarry before the divorce is finalized. If you are looking to proceed with an expedited divorce, it is advised that you retain an attorney to file the necessary motions on your behalf. Failing to do so may result in your request being denied.

Delegating Workload amongst Attorneys

The size of the law firm you retain will affect the way in which your case is handled. Solo practitioners often have less resources and support staff compared to larger firms, and may not be able to take on complicated actions. It is harder for solo practitioners to handle a heavy case load, since they just don’t have the time to delegate to each client.

Boutique law firms, like Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C., focus their practice on one or two areas of law, and only employ lawyers who are experts in their chosen field. Retaining a boutique law firm to represent you during a divorce or child custody matter is sure to guarantee a winning divorce strategy.

Brian and his team of attorneys take an “all hands on deck” approach to representation, meaning they work together on many of the firm’s cases. This unique kind of workflow allows for lower legal fees and ensures that communication between the client and staff is completed in a timelier manner. The Senior Associate Attorneys familiarize themselves with case files, and are able to successfully appear in court with little notice. This well-tuned approach allows the firm to better advocate for their clients, providing the best representation possible.

Cost of Representation

Divorce and child custody actions are very sensitive and delicate matters, and you cannot put a price on your family’s well-being. That being said, it is important to discuss the cost of representation with the attorney during your initial consultation. Different cases will require different retainer amounts and fee structures.

For instance, an uncontested divorce is typically a flat-fee case, meaning you are not required to pay an additional fee after work has been completed on your case. (This, of course, will change if your divorce becomes contested.) Contested divorces and child custody actions require more attention and time, and the cost for representation reflects the extra work. Retainer agreements for these types of actions typically have an initial deposit, along with hourly fees that vary depending on which attorney or staff member is working on the case at any given time. You will receive a detailed itemized invoice each month, and fees will accrue once the initial deposit is depleted.

You should ask to see a sample retainer agreement during your initial consultation. Review it with the attorney, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you need it. When you are ready to sign a retainer, make sure it includes a copy of the Statement of Client’s Rights and Responsibilities. This section of your retainer agreement details the rights you have during the course of your action, and stipulates how attorney fees are to be handled or addressed.

Take Advantage of Free Consultations!

Many law firms charge a fee for an initial consultation, but not Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C.! The attorneys take pride in their knowledge and experience, and are always willing to discuss pending cases with potential clients. Scheduling a consultation is easy, and only takes a couple of minutes. Call 718-875-7584, or use Brian’s online scheduler to select a time that works best for you. As a special gift, check-in on Yelp before your consultation and receive a free copy of Brian’s book, Winning Divorce Strategies, for a limited time only!

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