There is nothing is more important to you than protecting your family, so if you’re researching family law practices, you’re probably dealing with one of the most difficult times of your life and want answers quickly. With more than two decades of experience, the Scottsdale Family Law attorneys at Tiffany Fina Law understand what an emotional time this is and how challenging it can be. We’re here to support you through this and help you safeguard what matters most. That said, if you haven’t hired an attorney before, you’re probably a little unsure about what to expect when you send an email or complete an online form. Even if you have retained a lawyer, each practice is a little different. On this page, we’ll break down the process of hiring a family attorney and what you can expect throughout each step of the process.
Step 1: Contact Us to Book a Consultation
We offer several ways to get in touch with us, including phone, email, or our online form. The information you provide us with is kept confidential and is only used to determine if your case falls within the scope of something we have experience with, be it divorce, custody, support, or other family law issue. If you speak with us directly by phone, we can book your consultation right away. If you contact us digitally, we’ll respond to you as soon as possible—typically within a matter of hours if it’s during normal business hours.
The consultation is your first opportunity to speak with the attorney you’re considering hiring. The divorce and family law attorneys at Tiffany Fina Law handle consultations differently than other firms do, so this is when you’ll notice what sets us apart if you’ve either hired an attorney before or have been speaking with other practices about your current case. First, we keep some space open on our calendar, so we can see you quickly if you’re dealing with an urgent matter. Secondly, lawyer Tiffany Fina likes to meet with you personally during your visit. Although the two of you may decide another lawyer on his team is suited to your case, Kevin personally oversees all cases. Other firms may have you meet with a paralegal, receptionist, or junior lawyer. Lastly, consultations are free at their Scottsdale AZ law firm. This is fairly rare in family law, as the majority of practices charge $250 or more just to speak with a lawyer, without ever knowing if you’ll retain them.
Step 2: Come in for Your Consultation
Consultations typically last about 30 minutes. You’ll want to bring all relevant documents with you to the appointment. This includes things like divorce decrees, parenting plans, and other court documents, as well as any written agreements you have with the other party and things you believe will have bearing on your case. The attorney will listen to your situation, examine the documents, and discuss possible avenues. Because no two cases are ever exactly alike, your attorney will likely list several options and what the outcome of each may be based on his experience. It’s at this point that most people breathe a huge sigh of relief because there are always options, and the more experienced your attorney is, the better able he is to walk you through the specifics of your case.
Once you’ve discussed the case, the attorney will go over costs with you. Common expenses include the lawyer’s time, the paralegal’s time, and filing fees. Because all cases are unique, it’s not possible to pinpoint an exact amount it will cost to represent you, but an experienced attorney will be able to give you a fair ballpark figure. You will not have to sign anything or pay anything on your first visit to Tiffany Fina Law. You’ll be able to go home and mull things over and make a decision that feels right to you from the comfort of your home.
Step 3: Sign the Agreement and Pay Your Retainer
When you’ve decided to officially retain an attorney, you’ll be given an agreement to sign which goes over all the terms your attorney has discussed with you, and you’ll be expected to pay the retainer fee. Arizona Family Law firms in Scottsdale AZ have you pay a retainer fee before they get started on your case, though the amount varies based on the firm and the complexity of your case. The funds are placed into a special account for you and the firm draws from your payment as expenses are accrued.
Step 4: Initial Filings are Made
People come to our law firm for different reasons. Sometimes, they’re interested in starting a court case, making them the “petitioner.” Other times, they’ve gotten a document from the courts and they need to reply to it, making them the “respondent.” Your attorney will take the next appropriate step, either by replying to the court and letting them know you’re now being represented and how you intend to move forward or by filing the initial documents with the courts to start the case.
For example, if you’ve been served with divorce papers, your attorney will answer the courts saying what action you plan to take. If you’re petitioning to your divorce lawyer, your attorney will file documents stating that you’d like a divorce and what the terms you’re proposing are. If other things need to be done, such as serving the other party, your attorney will take care of all this too.
Step 5: Appear, Reply, Relax
Court processes can sometimes seem long because there are lots of documents to be filed, deadlines, hearings, and actions to be taken. Your divorce attorney in Gilbert AZ will handle of this, keep you in the loop about what steps are being taken, what documents you need to provide when you’ll need to appear in court (if you do), and what you can expect.
Book a Free Consultation with Tiffany Fina Law
If you’re here, you owe it to yourself to get real answers that are specific to your case. We’re glad to meet with you for a free 30-minute case evaluation to go over the details of your matter so you can decide the best way to move forward with the knowledge only an experienced family law attorney in Scottsdale can provide. Call us to book your consultation or complete the form on this page and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.