When it comes to family law litigation, it’s far more than choosing an attorney to represent your interests. It could possibly be the most important decision you ever make. The best attorney-client relationships resemble healthy partnerships—you should look for someone you can trust to efficiently, expertly and emotionally get you through the process.
Whether you’re considering a divorce, trying to work out custody and finances or getting your head around child support services, finding a lawyer who understands the law, you and your needs is essential.
Here are some ideas to ensure you choose the best family lawyer for you.
Advice Is Critical, but the Decision Is Yours
The usual place to go for recommendations is friends and family. Although not everyone has been involved in family law litigation, you likely know someone who needed an attorney’s guidance. Although it is imperative to be represented by an attorney who practices family law litigation, an attorney who may not have knowledge of family law litigation may be a great source of referrals.
Whether the recommendation was through a friend or a professional, make sure you speak to the attorney yourself before making your decision. From budgets to ways of working to personality traits, every family, and every law case, is unique.
Things to consider in your consultation with your prospective Attorney:
- Ask them how you will communicate, and the time it usually takes them to respond. You don’t want to be left hanging when your child’s care and life are on the line.
- Some law firms have a sign-up fee or a retainer. Others have a flat fee for all legal work. Be prepared with your budget and find out their payment terms. For example, family law practices may have younger workers who can support financial documents so that you can keep costs lower.
- Do you feel stressed or relieved at the end of the call? If it’s the latter, this is a good sign. When you're involved in family law litigation, you need someone by your side that’s well equipped to help you through these steps. This is where experience comes in.
Ensure Experience and Expertise
Family law is a highly complex practice area. Not only must attorneys provide counsel based on divorce, child, and parental rights in your state, but they also require an understanding of corporate law, tax trusts, and estates. For this reason, a specialist family law firm is a wise place to start.
Lawyers are not psychologists or therapists—but a family law attorney will be the closest to such professions. When it comes to the ones you love or once trusted, anyone looking for legal support will likely be cycling the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You might want to know how many cases they’ve won, what clients they’ve worked for, and under what conditions to gauge their emotional and technical experience.
Whether you are involved in complex litigation or any other family law matters, make sure that the family law attorney you retain covers your particular region. The attorney's knowledge of state laws, specific court procedures, specific Judges, experience working with families, skill in family law litigation, and understanding of parental rights should come first on your checklist.
It might be challenging to decide which attorney would best serve your unique needs, however, when you choose the correct Attorney for yourself you should feel confident in your choice.
Know Your Options
This is the time to take feelings out of the picture. In the same way one struggles to comprehend legal advice when emotions are high, making decisions on how to proceed in Family Law litigation requires a clear head.
What are your circumstances? Smaller specialised firms may be able to give a more personal approach — especially if you have the ability to meet with your attorney for conversations face-to-face.
It is crucial to work with an attorney who can represent you efficiently and cost-effectively, with the ability to delegate miniscule mandatory tasks to their experienced staff at a lower cost to you. At the end of the day, you can’t put a price on your piece of mind, however your attorney should always work with you to weigh all of your options, present their advice and allow you to make the ultimate decisions in regard to your case.
Do you need to talk to an experienced Family Law Attorney? Book a consultation, and we will help you.