When you are facing a separation or divorce, the first question that you need to address is to how to retain the best family or divorce attorney in Montgomery County, Maryland based upon your individual needs. There are about 5,000 practicing attorneys in Montgomery County. About half of these attorneys handle family law cases, some better than others.
Family lawyers in Montgomery County charge from about $200 to $500 per hour. The good news is that most divorce and family law cases are fairly routine. As I explained in a previous post, half of my divorce clients are charged less than $2,000; and 80% of my clients are charged less than $5,000 to obtain a divorce. For most family law and divorce actions, you do not need to retain a high price Bethesda attorney.
When searching for a family or divorce attorney, I recommend that you obtain 3 to 5 referrals from family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. You should then conduct online research concerning the education, training, and experience of the recommended attorneys. See my article on the 10 things you need to know about retaining an attorney: https://stewartsutton.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-retaining-an-attorney
You should then schedule consultations with at least 3 of the attorneys that you have pre-screened. You should treat your initial consultation as a job interview for your attorney. Your interview checklist should include the following:
1. Is the attorney too busy to handle your case?
- Did it take more than a few days to schedule an appointment?
- Did the appointment begin on time?
- Was the attorney distracted or interrupted by phone calls, emails, or text messages?
2. Will the attorney personally handle your case or will he or she assign your case to an associate?
3. Does the attorney believe that your case is simple or complex?
4. What is the attorney’s hourly rate?
5. How many hours will it take to complete your case?
6. What is the attorney’s strategy to expedite your case and minimize your costs?
Based upon your impressions of the lawyers that you have interviewed as well as their answers to your questions, you will be able to make an informed choice as to who is the best attorney in Montgomery County, Maryland, to handle your family law or divorce case.
Do not attempt to shortcut the process by choosing a lawyer based upon a list of “super lawyers”, “top divorce lawyers” or “best family attorneys” in Montgomery County, which was compiled by a magazine or an advertising insert. There is no scientific validity to the selection and rating process used to identify these so-called best family lawyers in Montgomery County, Maryland. In fact, these rating guides usually contain a disclaimer stating the same. But if you are considering retaining the highest price attorney you can afford, please read my July 2, 2012 post addressing the three reasons why you should pay $450 per hour to a retain a high price family lawyer or divorce attorney in Rockville or Bethesda: https://stewartsutton.com/is-there-a-reason-to-pay-an-attorney-450-00-per-hour