Most people do need an attorney to represent them in court; however the bulk of people cannot afford one. That is why we, and many law firms, offer limited scope services. This allows you to hire an attorney for one issue or one hearing, and continue to represent yourself on other issues. The most common is for someone to hire us in limited scope for the initial hearing on child/spousal support and custody/visitation, which are very often all included in the same motion (or Request for Order). Once those issues have an initial ruling, in many cases low/moderate income parties can come to agreements on property and finalize the divorce or parentage case.
When you are looking for an attorney to represent you in a divorce case, it is important that you feel comfortable with the attorney handling your case, the lead attorney for the firm, and that you understand the divorce process. Many times you will share intimate details with your attorney so it is imperative that there be a good and comfortable working relationship. In order to establish this, it is also important that you are direct with your attorney during the initial consultation to let them know what type of representation you are looking for and what type of personality you have. Are you the type of person that wants to know every little detail that occurs on your case or do you us only to make you aware of the highlights? Do you expect most communication to be by email or phone, or do you prefer in person meetings every time? Do you have a disability or have you suffered trauma that we should be aware of? Does the other side have an issue or personality type we would be aware of? These are all things that help us assign the right attorney for your case and help you choose if you should work with our office.
In advance of your consultation I suggest that you have bullet points of important topics and questions that you hope to cover; that you have a list of what your long term goals are for your case (do you want the house, sole legal custody, etc). We have applications that provides most of the information we will need to draft the initial documents associated with your case and give you guidance as to what information we need for the consultation on our website www.allforthefamilylegalclinic.org