Divorce and family law matters are matters which are oftentimes very difficult, emotionally charged matters. Many clients have never needed the services of an attorney before calling our office and it may seem intimidating and overwhelming. In order to help you feel more at ease and to assist you in preparing for a meeting with one of our attorneys, we have put together some frequently asked questions.
If you are meeting with an attorney at The Law Office of Helen Allen with respect to a divorce or family law matter, you should first think about the issues attendant to your case, what circumstances led you to seek the advice of a family law attorney, and what goals you are striving to achieve to attain the best outcome for you and your family so that you can share this information with the attorney. During the meeting, the attorney will listen to your story and she will ask you questions in order to gather the information that she requires and, based on that information, she will provide you with the appropriate legal information at the initial consultation and answer your questions.
If your spouse has already filed and served documents on you, or if your matter is already in court, you may wish to bring copies of the initial court filings and any orders entered by the court to the initial consultation, as those documents can assist the attorney in assessing where you are in the proceedings and how best to advise you. However, if you choose not to bring those documents with you, it will not prevent you from having the initial consultation with an attorney.
If you have documents available to you that set forth lists of assets and liabilities, regardless of whose name those assets and liabilities are in, along with an estimate of the values of those assets and liabilities, those documents may serve to make the initial consultation more efficient.
When you call The Law Office of Helen Allen, you may have already determined the attorney with whom you would like to schedule an appointment. If you do not have a preference or have not yet determined which attorney you would like to meet with, our staff can assist you in determining which attorney may best suit your needs.
During your first phone call to our office, our helpful staff will ask you a few questions to facilitate making your appointment with the attorney that best suits your needs. In order to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest which would preclude our attorneys from meeting with you, our staff must perform a short conflicts check. Once we have determined that no conflict of interests exist, our staff will facilitate scheduling of an appointment by offering dates and times during the week that may work with your schedule.
The Law Office of Helen Allen determines the amount of legal fees and retainers based on the complexity of your case as well as an estimation of the time required to resolve the issues attendant to your case.
A retainer agreement is a written contract, signed by the attorney and the client, which sets forth the terms of representation once you have hired The Law Office of Helen Allen to represent you. The retainer agreement sets forth the amount of the retainer, the hourly rate for each attorney in the firm, the hourly rate for each support staff member in the firm, and an estimation of the anticipated costs associated with your case, if any.
During the initial consultation, you and the attorney will discuss and determine the best and most effective way to communicate with one another during your representation by The Law Office of Helen Allen.
The role of support staff members is extremely important at The Law Office of Helen Allen. Among other functions, support staff members are the bridge between the attorneys and the clients, and we welcome you to get to know our staff as well.
The most efficient way to schedule an appointment to see an attorney at The Law Office of Helen Allen is to call our office and speak with one of our support staff members so that we can do a brief intake to determine your specific needs, ensure that there are no conflicts of interest and schedule a time for you to meet with one of our attorneys.
There is a consultation fee; however, the fee is less than our usual hourly rate and the consultation fee is due at the beginning of your consultation, after you complete the initial informational intake sheet.
Information about collaborative law, mediation and litigation is contained throughout our website and can help you in gathering information about these different processes, how they work, and which process may be best suited for your particular circumstances. When you meet with an attorney at The Law Office of Helen Allen, she will discuss with you various options and help you in making choices that will lead you in the direction best suited for your needs.