Questions to Ask your Divorce Attorney During a Free Consultation

At The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC, our main focus is protecting our clients’ rights and helping them obtain their goals.

At the consultation, we give a legal analysis of the issues with specific techniques and strategies to try and obtain client goals as well as protecting client’s rights. We can run guideline child and spousal support calculations so you have realistic expectations. When you hire us to represent you, we are a full-service family law firm, and we will be with you every step of the way. To find out how we can help you, call now to schedule your free consultation.

Asking important questions during your consultation can help you be as prepared as possible for your pending family law case.

We advise you to write down any questions or concerns you may have prior to your consultation so you are prepared and do not forget. Below, we listed a few key questions you should consider asking your attorney before the initial consultation.

How do you charge?
At Doppelt and Forney, APLC, we usually charge an hourly rate, and ask for an upfront retainer payment. Sometimes, we do offer a flat fee arrangement, depending on your personal circumstances. It is best you ask your lawyer, as every situation is different and different lawyers will charge at different hourly rates. Keep in mind, the lowest rate might not be the best deal. The lawyer that charges more might be much more experienced, avoid mistakes, and do the work in much less time.

Will the retainer payment be the total cost?
Not necessarily. In some cases, the retainer payment will cover all of the work that needs to be done. If there is still money left over, you will be refunded the difference. But in many other cases, you may need to replenish your retainer, as fees will exceed the initial retainer payment. You can ask your lawyer how many hours he estimates your case will take, but he will not be able to give you an exact number of hours or exact dollar amount.

Are you experienced handling (insert your issue)?
You are welcome to interview more than one attorney, so you want to feel comfortable with their knowledge and experience level. Ask about previous experience and education to help you make the right decision.

Do you see my case going to trial?
Ideally, your attorney can help you settle your case to avoid a costly trial. However, there are rare situations where trial is your best bet. If an attorney is eager for trial, that should be a red flag, as it will be much more costly for you.

What is your communication style?
Some attorneys are great at picking up the phone every time you call. Other attorneys are almost impossible to get ahold of. Some attorneys communicate almost exclusively through their paralegal. Some attorneys only email, whereas some prefer phone calls. As a client, you deserve to have clear communication expectations and you should pick an attorney that has a communication style that works for you.

What are my options?
At the free consultation, the attorney should help you understand the different options you have to help you decide the best path to take. They should be able to provide you with realistic expectations for your case during the consultation.

What do I do next?
If you have questions, like: When should I file? Who will serve the opposing party? Should I move out of the home? ASK! You want to feel confident leaving the consultation that you know exactly what you need to do.

Call Now for a Free Consultation
Divorce can become very complicated, especially a divorce involving minor children or significant assets. Call The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC for a free consultation at 800-769-4748. We proudly serve clients in San Diego and surrounding communities, including Coronado, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Ramona, San Marcos, and Vista. We represent clients in family law court in all of the court houses in San Diego County including downtown, Vista, Chula Vista and El Cajon.