Why Hiring an Attorney Before Your Case is Filed is a Good Idea?
Probably the reason most people wait until the last minute to hire an attorney is the cost. Many attorneys charge by the quarter-hour, and this can add up fast when having a conversation regarding a case not yet underway. While this is true, there are reasons it is a good idea to hire an attorney before your case is filed. Here are some of them:
• An attorney can help you sort out the details of a case required to handle your concern such as a divorce, bankruptcy, or child support.
• As detailed financial documents will be required, an attorney can show you what these documents will be and advise you as to how you will gather the information needed to complete the necessary documents. He or she will advise you on how to complete what is called a “balance sheet,” which will be needed when dealing with financial documents.
• Marital assets and debts are an integral part of a divorce case, and learning what yours are ahead of filing will help when drawing up hoped for equitable distribution. An attorney can help with this. In most states, including Florida, marital assets and liabilities are equitable, not equally distributed. This can be best done before filing to determine how your case is likely to proceed. And in bankruptcy, you will need to know which chapter to file and what assets and debts you will keep.
• Preparing for a divorce, an attorney can advise you as to how to handle joint bank accounts and credit cards, whether to close, cut them in half, or leave them alone. Advise will also be available to help you determine if you should make any major purchases or sales before filing as after filing a judge often prohibits changes in material and property possessions.
• Together you and your attorney can discuss and determine what goals you will be seeking, In a divorce, for example, such issues as division of marital assets and liabilities, alimony, and the parenting plan are best discussed before filing.
Hiring an attorney before a case is filed can be less expensive if you consider the following:
• When selecting the attorney, you want to hire, look for ones that offer a free, initial, in-office consultation. Here, for free, is where you can ask your questions and learn how an attorney can help and how he or she charges, including determining if there will be a retainer or up-front amount of money due before the attorney begins the case. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County in Florida, in New York or Washington DC Family Law attorney Grant Gisondo offers a free, initial, in-office consultation as well as over ten years experience in helping clients with cases involving family law. You can call his office at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment.
• There are several ways an attorney can set his or her fees. Look for a fee schedule that suits your budget, possibly one that is a set amount to handle the case from start to finish. Be careful, though, as sometimes a set fee will not include charges for extras including phone calls, correspondence, and time spent on such as mediation, deposition, or the cost of an expert witness if needed.
• Choose an attorney who will let you help with items that could cost such as writing letters, organizing evidence, and contacting potential witnesses.
Overall, hiring an attorney before your case is filed is the best plan. This way, you and your attorney will have established a positive working relationship right from the start. Several preliminary steps will already have been taken, and you will both feel comfortable with each other and agree when it is time to file and move on with your case.