Every year, many Australians face unexpected legal issues. It could be that your partner suddenly says they want a divorce, you may face a DUI charge, or you may be accused of a committing a serious crime. Whatever the legal difficulty is, you are going to need someone to represent you in court. Typically, a lawyer or solicitor will charge you for their services. Below is a guide to the questions you should ask before you hire a solicitor or lawyer to represent you.
Ask for an estimated costing
When you first meet with a lawyer or solicitor, you should ask them for an estimated costing. While this estimated costing may change depending on the length of legal proceedings or other factors, it is useful to have a number in mind before you instruct them to act on your behalf.
Ask about the fee structure
Different law offices will have different fee structures in place. The fees you need to pay can vary depending on several factors such as the seniority of the legal expert, the location the work is to be carried out in and the urgency with which work needs to be carried out. Typically you will pay a higher rate of fees for more experienced legal professionals, at law offices within a city rather than a rural area and if the work needs to be carried out at short notice.
Ask about billing methods
Once you have agreed on the fee structure, you will need to finalise your billing and payment. The majority of law firms will require some form of upfront payment, which is usually a percentage of the estimated costing. This money is held in a trust account until the legal process is completed and a final calculation of any cost can be produced. You will then be presented with a final bill. Some law firms will allow you to negotiate a payment plan so you can pay your bill over a period of months while others will want immediate payment. It is important that you understand the billing method the law firm will use.
Ask about exposure to the other party's legal fees
If your legal case involves another party whom you are challenging in court and you lose the case, you may be ordered by the judge to pay the legal cost the other party incurred. It is important to ask your solicitor or lawyer about this potential exposure to additional cost.
If you would like further information, you should contact a law firm today.Share
21 June 2017
Hello, my name is Sandra. I live with my two children in Eastern Australia. I have recently come through a very difficult divorce. My ex-partner used to drink too much and he wasn't a very good husband or father. The final straw was when I discovered he was having an affair. I filed for divorce the same day. I knew that getting divorced would be difficult but I didn't realise just how difficult. My husband did all he could to make it hard for me and the kids. Thankfully, I found a fantastic family lawyer who helped me through the entire process. I won custody of the kids and my husband has been asked to pay child support. I decided to start this blog to help others who are going through a divorce.