Whether you’re going through a divorce, fighting for custodial rights or challenging an existing custody or support agreement, having the right attorney on your team is essential for ensuring an acceptable outcome. With quality representation you can learn your rights, obtain strategies for protecting yourself and your interests, and ensure the ongoing health and safety of minor children. Following are four tips for hiring a family lawyer that will help you get the support you need.
1. Focus On Professionals Who Specialize In This Practice Area
While you might be tempted to retain the services of a general attorney who happens to be a family friend, it’s always best to work with professionals who specialize in this legal area. You want a provider who has handled cases like your own in the past and who can draw upon this experience when assisting you. A seasoned family law attorney will have a comprehensive understanding of both local and state family laws. More importantly, this professional will be able to apply these laws to a vast range of real-world situations and challenges.
2. Schedule An Initial Consultation To Assess The Family Lawyer’s Communication Skills And Pricing
Always meet with prospective attorneys in-person before making any firm commitments to these services. It should be easy to establish comfortable a rapport with this individual so that you can openly discuss various aspects of your case without feeling as though your needs, concerns or opinions are being under-valued or overlooked. The best family attorneys are often just as personable as they are professional.
Initial consultations are also the perfect opportunity to learn more about the family lawyer’s fee schedule. Pricing should be easy-to-understand and entirely transparent. Knowing what the costs of individual legal services are ahead of time is absolutely essential for keeping your legal fees under control.
3. Find Out Who Your Point Of Contact Will Be
It is also a good idea to look for a firm that can offer you a consistent point of contact. With certain firms, individual cases are often passed from hand to hand. You can get a far better sense of continuity and overall support by working with legal professionals who pride themselves in offering each and every client a knowledgeable contact person. This way, whenever you phone in with new details about your case or need an update, you won’t have to explain who you are and what your relationship to the firm is before getting the answers you need.
4. Be Honest And Upfront About Your Circumstances
During your consultation appointment, you want to be as honest and upfront about your circumstances as you possibly can. This is vital for ensuring that the family attorney has the best opportunity to assess the feasibility of your case and predict the most likely outcome. Lawyers cannot knowledgeably advise their clients on their circumstance or their cases if they are unaware of major details. All attorneys are required to keep the information that their clients share entirely confidential and thus, once a formal relationship has been established with one of these professionals it is definitely in your best interests to be candid about your assets, past criminal history, income, property and all other factors that are relevant to your case.