What You Don't Know About Divorce Lawyers Could Be Costing More Than You Think

In case you haven't before now, probably sometime in your own life you will have to seek the services of an attorney. Thanks to my consultation with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, this is a variety of responses to basic and fundamental questions.

1. QUESTION: How am I able to be sure my lawyer is handling my issues?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer keeps track of his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a affirmation of how the attorney bills his clients - in advancemonthly, quarterly, etc. You may also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you are wise to often review the docket and see what changes have occurred by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. Also feel at ease contacting your lawyer at intervals to ascertain the status of the matter, knowing you'll likely be charged for these interactions.

2. QUESTION: Do I want to hire an attorney at law in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other jurisdictions and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county wherein the matter will be litigated is crucial as that attorney will have a level of comfort with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One consideration in hiring legal counsel away from area in which the matter occurs is cost of journey time. Some lawyers don't charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work conducted. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: How do I determine if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should endeavor to seek out legal assistance immediately. Papers filed in court that begin a lawsuit require responses that involve specific deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, reduce or avoid your recovery. Some matters by statute involve a "pre-suit" time period that allow you to take into account the legal issues and probable resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as soon as possible is advised.

4. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed area with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the concerns involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their counsel, and maintain the confidential nature of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Usually the parties share the cost of the mediation equally but other arrangements might be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is generally required in every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.

5. QUESTION: What kind of lawyer do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, lawyers may specialize in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer you services in several precise areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle divorce cases, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle most matters. Some areas of law are very complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any attorney should be able to go over your particular issue, determine if he or she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the need to speak with another in a specialized area.

6. QUESTION: Just how do I pick an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal problems are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and may be just as complicated. To safeguard your legal rights and remedies, the ideal practice is to research your area of need and research what lawyers are accessible to work with you. A referral from someone you know and respect can add a personal element to the consideration to hire an law firm but really should not be the exclusive reason counsel is picked. Look into the attorney's background of training, experience and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help can be empowering but may also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with the exact same level of thought and consideration as that directed at the selection of a medical doctor, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.

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About the Author

They call the author Consuela Hartzler and she gets comfortable if you wish to use complete name.

I am really fond of playing lacross but I have not made a dime with it also.
Office supervising is what he does in his day profession. My husband and I dwell in Virginia. You can always find his website here: http://www.divorcelawyer1.com

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