Asking the right questions at the initial interview will assist you in determining if you and the attorney will be a good fit to work together. v And, obtaining answers from the beginning of the attorney-client relationship can set a positive tone between you and the attorney. Remember, this is your interview. You should feel free to ask the attorney anything you have concerns about.
HOW LONG WILL MY DIVORCE CASE TAKE?
Under Michigan law, if there are no minor children of the marriage, the mandatory wait period is 60 days from the date of filing the complaint for divorce. If there are minor children of the marriage, the statutory wait period is six months from the date of filing the complaint for divorce. These statutory wait periods are defined in MCL 552.9(f). Realistically, a contested divorce in the state of Michigan can take 8-12 months.
WHO WILL I ACTUALLY BE WORKING WITH?
Will you be working with the attorney you interviewed with or an associate of the firm? Understand who you are hiring. If you will be working with an associate, meet them before you retain the law firm. The point of a consultation is to see if you can have a successful working relationship with the attorney. It’s hard to make that determination if you interview with one attorney, and your case is assigned to another attorney you have not met.
HOW WILL THE ATTORNEY COMMUNICATE WITH ME?
To avoid misunderstanding and frustration in your attorney-client relationship, understand how your attorney will communicate with you. Do they prefer communication through email, telephone, or text? Who will you be primarily communicating with – the attorney or their staff?
HOW OFTEN WILL THE FIRM SEND ME INVOICES?
Ask how often the firm sends invoices. You do not want to receive an invoice several months after you have retained your attorney only to find out that your retainer is completely depleted. Better to know each month where you stand financially with your attorney.
WHAT WILL I BE BILLED FOR?
Have a full understanding of what you will be billed for such as calls, emails, texts, document preparation, attendance at hearings, postage, and costs.
DOES THE ATTORNEY HAVE ANY EXPECTATIONS OF ME?
Does the firm have rules about client use of social media during the pendency of your case? Do they have suggestions about how to communicate with your spouse while the case is ongoing? Do they want to be informed of discussions/issues that arise between you and your spouse, and how often? Does the attorney have other rules that may guide you smoothly through your divorce process?
WHAT DOCUMENTS WILL THE ATORNEY REQUIRE OF ME?
The earlier you begin compiling the necessary documents for your divorce attorney, the easier it will be for you. You can be assured that your divorce attorney will need documents such as your tax returns, paystubs, mortgage statements, deeds, titles, credit card statements, and retirement account(s) statements. Ask the attorney to provide you a detailed list of what they require.
IF YOU ARE READY TO GET STARTED WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
Typically, this would mean that you need to sign a retainer agreement, make payment of the retainer, and provide information for the attorney to draft the documents necessary to file your divorce.
MICHIGAN COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY
Schmitt Law, PLLC treats each and every client with understanding. We will address any questions and concerns that you may have in order to structure our representation accordingly. Whether you have a simple, uncontested divorce or a complex legal battle that must be litigated, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC today by completing our online contact form, or calling us at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation.