In an Arizona family law matter, one of the most helpful services an attorney can provide to potential clients is the initial consultation. There are some attorneys who charge a nominal fee for an initial consultation. If hired, this fee often gets applied to the retainer fee in the case of a flat fee arrangement. For attorneys who bill hourly, it is fair to expect to be charged for your initial consultation. Reputable family law attorneys almost always bill hourly and typically will not do a free consultation. A good initial consultation should provide the client with a great deal of information and most family lawyers charge their ordinary hourly rate for them. Some firms will discount the initial consultation and will also strive to answer your questions and provide you with the guidance and legal advice that you need. To do so however, those firms must spend enough time with you to understand your situation, your needs, and your goals.
The initial consultation is typically scheduled for one hour. However, you shouldn’t have to worry if the consultation lasts a bit more than an hour. A reputable attorney will encourage you to take enough time to ensure that you are getting your questions answered and that you understand your rights and legal options. Important goals for the attorney during an initial consultation include making you feel comfortable, determining the unique problems you face, learning the circumstances of your case, and obtaining necessary information to evaluate and plan your case. The attorney should take great care to help you choose what course of action is best for you and your family. At any time during or after the consultation, you may request the firm to represent you in your legal matter.
If you are considering hiring a particular attorney, the initial consultation provides an excellent opportunity for you to become acquainted with the entire professional team, who will be assisting you throughout your matter. Be assured, the initial consultation is confidential and subject to the attorney-client privilege.
Every case is different, and as a result, legal expenses will vary greatly from case to case. While it is impossible to predict exactly how long a case will take, every reputable attorney will try during the initial consultation to give you an estimate of how much time your case might take and what you might expect to pay in legal fees, expenses, and costs.
While an attorney will enjoy meeting and visiting with you in person, it may not be feasible or even possible for you to go into his or her office. In those situations, most firms are able to offer a telephone consultation. A telephone consultation is just like a regular consultation, except for the fact that it occurs over the telephone. The same consultation fee applies and you may be asked to pay in advance.
If you are seeking a consultation with a family law attorney, you are probably undergoing an emotional and stressful time in you life. Though it will be difficult, you will need to sort out your emotions from the facts in order to proceed because in family law matters, the court will use a rational, business-like approach. If you are willing to pay for the advice of an experienced family law attorney, you should have no problem finding an attorney who is willing to counsel you on the relevant issues of your case and willing to try to help you approach your situation with reason rather than emotion.
Many people are surprised by what they learn during an initial consultation because they are not always able to anticipate all the factors involved in their case. A reputable family law attorney is trained to apply the law to your particular situation and to work with you to get the best results possible.