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4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Family Lawyer

— September 24, 2021

Unless you’re well versed in civil law, specifically family and property laws, an attorney experienced in these types of cases will be able to help you get the best out of a messy situation

Hiring a family lawyer is crucial when you want the best legal advice. They have the expertise to help you navigate the laws on your behalf. It can be complicated at times to hire a family lawyer using different approaches, but it’s crucial to seek professional help as soon as possible to save on fees and ensure that you’ll get the assistance you need. But before hiring one, here are some things you need to consider:

  1. Must Be Knowledgeable

The legal counsel you choose must have enough knowledge on the laws and the precedent to assist you in your case. A reputable firm will have family lawyers with enough experience to guide you with the proceedings and serve your best interest. You must also do your due diligence and schedule a meeting with them so you can find out more about their knowledge.

On the other hand, you’ll have to provide them with the specifics of your case, as they’ll need more information to proceed. Lawyers have different ways of handling such cases, but always be honest with your lawyer when you get the chance to sit down with them.

  1. Jurisdiction 

Naturally, a family lawyer must be practicing within the jurisdiction where the case is taking place. If you’re in a particular state, you must get a lawyer practicing in that same state also. It’d be difficult to hire someone from out of state. Family lawyers are required to know about the civil laws in your state. They must have an extensive knowledge on your state’s marriage laws and property laws.

Take a look at what happens in a divorce case. If you were married in California and moved to Boston and have been in residence for at least three months, where you also filed for a Statement of Claim, a Massachusetts lawyer will assist your case. But if you returned to California, a Massachusetts lawyer will be out of the jurisdiction and won’t be able to help you. It also makes sense to hire a family lawyer close to the courthouse where the case was filed.

  1. Initial Planning

Resolving legal conflicts can be messy, so you want a lawyer who will help ease you into the process. It can also be emotionally draining, and you want a lawyer who will understand your situation. The right family lawyer will know where to start since they already have a strategy in place.

The first step is to call the offices of the lawyers you’re considering to handle the case. Consider this as a screening to find the right lawyer who will eventually assist you in this process. Note how the staff answers the phone. The right lawyer must have trained personnel who can answer quick questions. You might even want a lawyer who can offer clients emergency contact numbers for after-hour inquiries.

During the call, ask if there will be a charge for the first meeting. The initial appointment is typically for getting to know the lawyer and getting information to help build your case. By the end of the meeting, you’d want to have an outline of an action plan to set your financial and legal affairs the best way for your family.

Graphic of family photo torn in two, mom and son on one side, dad and daughter on the other; graphic by Tumisu, via
Graphic by Tumisu, via

One thing to remember is that you won’t receive the best information during the initial planning. It’s impractical to expect a complete legal service during the first consultation since you only need to get to know your lawyer at that time.

  1. Your Personality Style

While most what’s discussed here focuses on the lawyer, you must also think about how you’d be as a client. Your personality will help you find a lawyer who matches your personality. 

Do you want a lawyer who will give you frequent updates? Would you prefer communicating over the phone or email? Are you looking to settle the case amicably or find a more aggressive approach? Understandably, your chosen law firm should also match your energy and personality in pursuing what’s rightfully yours. You must fully understand your needs to maximize your experience with the lawyer and law firm.

In Conclusion 

Unless you’re well versed in civil law, specifically family and property laws, an attorney experienced in these types of cases will be able to help you get the best out of a messy situation. On your side as the client, you’ll need to find the legal counsel that matches with how you want to approach the case. They know the state laws within their jurisdiction, cater to your needs, and make arrangements to make this case as smooth as possible.

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