Initial Consultation Common Questions

Are you considering scheduling an initial consultation with us? It’s a scary step, and you probably have a lot of questions. Meeting with an attorney is a great way to get accurate, up to date, Virginia specific answers so that you can begin to make the decisions you need to make to move forward.

What’s the purpose of an initial consultation?

An initial consultation is an opportunity to meet with an attorney one on one and discuss your specific situation. It gives you a chance to ask the questions that are keeping you up at night, and, possibly even more importantly, help you understand your options. Whether you choose to separate, divorce, reconcile, or move forward with custody petitions, you’ll be able to discuss each option in detail and come up with a plan that takes your unique situation into account.

You probably haven’t decided what you want to do just yet, and that’s okay. Our attorneys will never push you to make a decision you’re not comfortable making. In fact, we’ve helped many women save their marriages in consultations like this. At the end of the day, we want to help you make the best decision possible for you and your family.

Who will I meet with?

It depends! We have three office locations, one in Virginia Beach, Newport News, and a virtual office in Chesapeake. Different attorneys are available to meet in each location, so, for more information about exactly who you might meet with, check who is available at the location that is most convenient for you.

Want to meet with an attorney who isn’t available at your chosen location? Consider traveling to one of our other convenient local offices.

You’re free to choose from among the available attorneys at the office in your area. (Need help choosing? Check out all of our attorneys ahead of time by reading their bios here.) If you have no preference, we’ll work with you to find the attorney whose schedule works the best with the days and times you have available. We’ll do our best to get you in as quickly as possible, but keep in mind that our attorneys are often in and out of court, settlement conferences, and client meetings, too.

We have a ton of great attorneys, so you’re sure to be happy with whomever you decide to meet.

What should I bring with me?

Before you meet with us, we ask that you fill out our confidential Family Information Form, which you’ll receive by email as soon you reserve your appointment time and date.
The Family Information Form gives us general information, like the date of your marriage and separation (if you’ve separated yet), and the names and dates of birth of your children. It’s just an easy way for us to get information at a glance, so that we can jump right in when we start your appointment. It also helps us later on if you decide to retain the law firm to represent you.

Other than the Family Information Form, you don’t have to bring anything—unless you feel like there’s something we have to see to counsel you properly. If your husband has had you served with divorce papers, or if you’ve received a first draft of a separation agreement, those would be important documents to bring along.

Who should I bring with me?

One question we get asked all the time is, “Can I bring my mom with me?” We also see sisters, friends, dads, brothers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents accompanying our clients, both to meetings at the office and also to court.

It’s understandable; the experience is scary and overwhelming. If you want to bring someone with you, that’s fine. But you should know that there are advantages and disadvantages to involving someone else, and we want to make sure you think it through and make the best decision possible.

If you want to bring someone along for the initial consultation, that can be really helpful! Sometimes, especially when you’re upset or stressed out, it can be hard to remember everything that happened. You may feel like you won’t take the best notes, or that someone else will remember to ask the questions that you’ll forget. That’s okay. We understand.

You should also keep in mind, though, that attorney/client communications are privileged, but, when you bring someone else into the room, you waive that privilege.
Also, you should be sure to bring someone that you can be completely honest around. We’re going to have to talk about a lot of things that may make you uncomfortable, and if you feel like you can’t be honest or tell the truth around the person you plan on bringing, you may want to either re-think who you’re bringing with you, or come alone. Some of the topics we have to touch on are uncomfortable or sensitive, so think ahead about what you’ll likely have to say to your attorney. Ask yourself, “Am I comfortable with my mom knowing _____?”

Ultimately, you should do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. If that means you want to bring your mom, bring her along! It’s our goal to make sure that you feel as relaxed and as confident as possible.

How much does it cost?

The cost of an initial consultation with one of our Virginia licensed and experienced divorce attorneys is $300.

At the appointment, the attorney will present you with a retainer agreement, if appropriate, that details how much it would cost to retain her to represent you in your particular case. Depending on the complexity of the case, the amount of the retainer can vary. Your retainer goes into a trust account with your name on it, and the money is yours until the attorney earns it. Each attorney bills at their hourly rate as they do work on your case.

It’s difficult to estimate ahead of time exactly how much your case will cost, because it depends on a lot of factors that are outside of our control (like how difficult your husband is—and even the attorney he hires). Usually, separation agreement cases cost between $2,500 and $7,500. Contested divorces (divorces where the court is involved) are much more difficult to estimate, so you should talk to the attorney at your appointment.

At the end of your consultation, you should have a good idea of the choices available to you, so that you can start to make the kinds of decisions you need to make to move forward with your life. Whether that includes a divorce, a separation, a custody case or a reconciliation, we wish you all the best!

A few things to keep in mind…

  • We represent Virginia women exclusively. In fact, we’re the only firm in Virginia dedicated to helping women only in divorce and custody cases.
  • You don’t become a client of the law firm, and no work will be done on your case, until you pay the retainer in full and sign and return the retainer agreement the attorney gives you – you are not our client,  yet.

At the end of your consultation, you should have a good idea of the choices available to you, so that you can start to make the kinds of decisions you need to make to move forward with your life. Whether that includes a divorce, a separation, a custody case or a reconciliation, we wish you all the best!

We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Click here to go back to the schedule online page to complete your initial consultation scheduling process.