Family law cases can be challenging, especially when you’re dealing with your spouse, children, and your family’s finances. Before you hire a family law attorney to represent you, you need to be prepared to answer some key questions. Here are some key tips to help you start your search for the right family law attorney.
What is your experience with family law cases?
You want an attorney who has dealt with similar cases before, who knows how the system works, and knows how to navigate it. If the attorney has only practiced in family law for a short time, that might seem like a good start, but you need to know the type of cases the attorney is familiar with and whether or not their experience is general or specific to family law. If the attorney has only dealt with divorce cases, for example, that will likely be a much more difficult case for you than a case where the attorney is familiar with child support and visitation.
Do you only take cases that you can win?
You want an attorney who will challenge you, but not against you. It’s not your job to win the case, it’s your lawyer’s job. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your lawyer and that you trust them. You don’t want to feel like your attorney is in a rush to try and get you a “quick” settlement so they can get more cases. Also, if the attorney only wants to take cases that they know they can win, the attorney may end up wasting your time and money. On the other hand, you don’t want an attorney who thinks they are bound to win no matter what. If the attorney always thinks they can win, then they won’t work hard enough to help you get a good result.
What experience do you have handling family law cases?
The court system is full of lawyers, so it can be important to know who you are hiring. You want to make sure the attorney has experience, not just a fancy degree in family law or a law degree. You can ask the attorney about their experience with your specific case, when they graduated, and how long they have been in practice. You can also ask if the attorney has worked with other clients in your situation. If the attorney only has cases that they have handled, that attorney is likely going to have a hard time understanding your case.
How do you communicate with clients and stay up-to-date on their cases?
You want to feel like you can communicate with your lawyer. You don’t want to have to tell your lawyer to “call me if they get an offer.” You don’t have time for that. You want someone who is available on their phone, works a normal schedule, and can fit you in. You also want someone who cares about your case and keeps you updated. If your lawyer isn’t interested in your case, then they don’t need to be in contact with you. You want a lawyer who cares enough about your case to want to be in touch with you.
What areas of family law do you specialize in?
Your attorney will probably specialize in a certain area of family law, such as child support or divorce, but you still want to make sure they are a good fit for your case. You can ask your attorney what areas of the law they specialize in and how they are familiar with your case. You can also look up attorney reviews to see how other clients feel about their attorney. If a particular attorney is a good fit for your case, you may want to go with that attorney again if you have another family law matter.
Is there anything else you should know before deciding on an attorney?
Some things to keep in mind before hiring an attorney include the cost of the initial consultation, if the attorney will refund your consultation fee if you decide to change lawyers, and the length of time the attorney keeps their current clients before moving on to new clients. You also may want to ask around to see who has good references and who has bad references. If you have friends and family members you trust, asking for their input is a great way to get honest feedback.