It is better to spend more time searching for the right family law attorney than deal with future communication breakdowns.
Family law attorneys work with cases that affect the interests of family members such as spouses with or without kids, grandparents, and children. From the very moment you start thinking about creating a family, you might find yourself in need of a top-notch family law attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement. It goes without saying that such lawyers are irreplaceable when it comes to divorce, alimony, or child custody issues.
Things You Should Consider
When you find yourself in need of a family law attorney, you might feel lost as to what to look for and when to call a local law firm. Here are some points to consider when looking for a perfect family law attorney for your case.
- Type of legal service you are seeking
This is actually the very first question you should ask yourself: what exactly do you need? Do you want to settle your case through family mediation or you plan to go to court? Needless to say, you have more chances to succeed if you find a perfectly matching lawyer for your case. Make up your mind before you start to discuss your case with one of the candidates.
- Your budget limits and fees
With a simple case, there is no need to look for a lawyer from a top-rated practice, especially if you’re unsure you can afford one. But when it comes to property division, business-related issues, real estate, and so on, it is worth knowing what fees you will have to pay, if there is a flat fee for your case, and what the payment terms are. Some alimony and child support cases may take quite a long time, and it’s better to learn about possible expenses in advance.
- Lawyer’s qualifications, experience, and reputation (that last one is tricky)
All this information can be easily found online, so take the time to research candidates and make sure that your family law attorney is experienced and reputable. Keep in mind that a family law lawyer’s rating depends not only on the quality of services she or he delivers. Family issues are a sensitive matter, and sometimes the client’s emotions can get the best of them and affect their review even if the lawyer did an outstanding job.
- Personal compatibility
Are you feeling comfortable when talking to the candidate? Remember that this person will be your partner, mediator, and defender of your legal rights, so trust plays a crucial role here. If the communication process is stressful from the very first interview and you feel like the attorney cannot understand you, treat you with respect and your case with attention – think twice before hiring this person.
How to Search for a Lawyer
- Ask around for recommendations
Good ol’ word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a reliable family law attorney. Even if you get recommended a good real estate lawyer, we advise calling them. The community of lawyers is usually a close group, so he or she might know someone who can help. Contact your local bar association, ask local online communities – the more channels you use, the more candidates you will find.
- Don’t plan too many interviews for one day
Do yourself a favor and take your time. After you called several lawyers and selected several candidates to discuss the opportunities to cooperate, don’t meet with all of them in one day. Choosing a family law attorney might be a choice for life, so make sure you have enough time to think it over.
- Make a list of questions for candidates
Plan out the interviews to get the most out of them. You want to have a clear picture of future cooperation after the meeting is over. After asking about their qualifications, experience with similar cases, and fees, make sure to get into the specifics of your case. Here are some questions you might want to ask:
- Who is going to take care of my case? Is it going to be you or some other person from your office?
- How often do you work with such cases, and what special expertise can you bring to mine?
- What can you say about the possible outcomes and timeline of my case?
- Look for warning signs and trust your gut
During the interviews, pay attention to the way the lawyer is communicating with you:
- Are they listening to you carefully and providing detailed but clear explanations of legal terms?
- Are they willing to settle the case within your budget?
- Speaking about their previous experience, did they disclose any personal or confidential information about their former clients?
If you get that gut feeling that this lawyer is not the right partner for you, trust it. It is better to spend more time searching for the right family law attorney than deal with future communication breakdowns.
Find a Good One, and Win Together
Whatever the reasons you are looking for a lawyer, you have every opportunity to find a specialist that will lead your case to success and give you peace of mind about your family matters. Hopefully, our tips will help you make the right choice so that you never have to look for a family law attorney again.