“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are” – Chauncey Depew.
Calling an attorney about your family law case can be difficult. Showing up to your consultation can be even harder. Custody battles and divorce can be difficult to navigate on your own. By seeking out a competent legal professional, you can gain a better understanding of what your family law case can look like.
The first step in changing your custody agreement, filing for divorce, or defending a family lawsuit starts with an initial consultation. An initial consultation will help you understand your rights, the law, and the process that lies ahead.
While every law firm and attorney has their own unique style, most consultations at the Hunt Law Firm, PLLC will flow the same way.
- Introduction & Disclaimers
- Your Story
- The Law & Analysis
- Law Firm Practices
Introduction & Disclaimers
Whether you are in our office, over the phone, or on Zoom, every consultation will start off with the attorney introducing themselves. We understand that taking this first step may have been difficult for some. Our compassionate attorneys will immediately make you feel comforted with their friendly personalities.
Next, the attorney will explain the rules on attorney-client privilege. Though a formal attorney-client relationship is not formed until a client pays and signs a contract, confidentiality extends in our consultations. That means you are free to speak with the attorney as openly as you would like. If you choose to hire a different attorney, the attorney you consulted with cannot be called into court to testify about your consultation with them.
It is important to note that the attorney-client privilege can be pierced. If you bring a friend or a family member to the initial consultation, the attorney-client privilege is broken. Why? Because the friend or family member has now heard conversations between you and the attorney. Prior to beginning your consultation, the consulting attorney will inform you about your rights within the attorney-client privilege.
After the introductions, the attorney will turn it over to you to share your story. At this point, you have the floor to share as much or as little as you would like. It is important to be open, truthful, and honest with the attorney. You will get out of a consultation what you put in.
If you don’t share anything about your current situation with the attorney, they may have a difficult time putting the pieces of your case together. Withholding information may not allow the attorney to provide an adequate assessment regarding your case. Be prepared to share information about your situation, your children, or your property.
During your story, the attorney will listen attentively and may ask questions to get a better understanding of your case.
The Law & Analysis
The most important takeaway during your initial consultation will be learning about Texas law. Our knowledgeable attorneys will not only discuss Texas law with you, but they may also rebut come common family law myths.
If you are going through a divorce, you will learn about community property. You will also learn what a just and right division of property is and how you could obtain a disproportionate share. Depending on your situation, you may also learn about the fault grounds in Texas divorce cases.
The attorney will also provide you with an analysis of how the law and the facts of your case go together. The attorney will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and identify possible challenges your case could face.
The attorney will be honest with you providing you with your best and worst-case scenarios. Part of an attorney’s job is to provide you with information so you can make an informed decision. Another component is to provide you with a set of realistic expectations regarding the division of assets or child-related issues.
Law Firm Practices
After you have had an opportunity to ask all your questions, the attorney will likely discuss how the law firm operates. In most consultations, the attorney will go over the contract between the attorney and client. At the Hunt Law Firm, we call this contract a Legal Services Agreement.
During this portion of your consultation, you will learn about the firm’s billing practices, what your attorney’s hourly rate is, and other practices the law firm may have.
The attorney will also discuss the million-dollar question, “How much is this going to cost?” There is no single figure cost for a family law case because each one is different and unique. The attorney, based on the facts shared, will quote you a retainer and discuss their fee structure.
If you are ready to hire the attorney on the spot, he or she will provide you with a contract for representation. If you would like to think about retaining, the attorney will let you know how to move forward with your case in the future if you choose to do so.
It is important to make sure you understand the attorney’s contract prior to signing and engaging the attorney’s representation. If you would like to take the contract home to review, it is highly encouraged. The attorney may also be able to send you an electronic copy so you can review it on your own. If you have any questions regarding the contract for representation, make sure you clarify and discuss your concerns to avoid problems later.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
An initial consultation is an opportunity for you to get your feet wet in a family law case. You will gain a better understanding of the legal system and walk out with a plan to navigate your current situation. Every family law case is different and unique. It is important that you find an attorney you feel comfortable with and who you feel will advocate for your best interest.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the staircase” – Martin Luther King, Jr.