When choosing a family lawyer it’s important to find an individual who has experience with family litigation matters that go beyond divorce proceedings. That means they should have extensive knowledge about family litigation cases which includes cases of adoption, custody, disputes, surrogacy, the arrangement between family members, and family litigation support between same-sex couples. Having a family law attorney will help you understand your rights and protections available under the law when pursuing these goals.
There are many different types of cases within the family law sphere. For example, there are divorce cases, child custody disputes, domestic violence charges, protection from abuse orders (PFA’s), paternity claims, and many other scenarios that can arise. That’s why it is very important to know how to choose the right attorney when you’ve decided to take legal action within this area. Here is some useful information on how to do just that:
1) Consult with several divorce lawyers
There are a number of family law attorneys who offer free consultations. This means that you won’t have to spend any money on this step, but instead use it to better understand your case and prepare for the best possible outcome. However, these consultations aren’t necessarily set in stone either because there are some cases when they wouldn’t be available. It all depends on how busy the lawyer’s schedule is at that particular time or if they’re willing to offer you their expert advice at no charge.
2) Speak with friends and family who have dealt with a similar case
Make sure that the divorce attorney is experienced in divorce cases similar to yours (e.g., your spouse’s true income should be known by a divorce lawyer). By gathering as much information about your case as you can, you will have a better chance of finding the perfect lawyer for your needs. Consult with family members or friends who have already dealt with divorce cases just like yours because they are the people who know what to expect from this process.
3) Obtain professional references when possible
Don’t hire the divorce lawyer that has been advertised on television or in a newspaper flyer; instead, request recommendations from family members and friends for their best divorce lawyers. Be sure to check if the divorce lawyer you’re interested in has received any awards from other professionals who know his work. This will serve as an indication of the quality of service that this person provides.
4) Narrow down your search by checking online for reviews or client testimonials
Make sure that the divorce attorney you choose has a professional webpage with details on his education and experience. It’s also advisable to read online reviews which can be found on many different sites including Yelp, Superpages, and Google+ Local. This will allow you to know what other customers think about this person so you can determine if he is the best person for your case.
If you are not able to get any recommendations, search online for divorce lawyers in your area; read the profiles of divorce attorneys posted on multiple websites; make sure to look at their biographies (which should include years of experience). Online reviews can also make it easier to search for an attorney in different areas. This way, if you’re looking for someone more local, you can search through reviews of attorneys based on their location and then choose the one that seems like the best fit for your situation.
5) Look through each attorney’s website for necessary information
Before choosing a divorce attorney, check his or her review/rating on multiple websites as well as testimonials from previous clients; make sure to read all reviews carefully! The main goal of your search is to find a divorce attorney that will work for you and be able to offer expert legal help. Be sure that you have all the information about their fees, payment options, contact details, and experience in this field before making any decisions.
6) Speak with local lawyers
Your city will probably have many different websites which feature lists of family law attorneys. This is an excellent idea because all of them will offer free consultations so you don’t have to worry about filing fees and other hidden charges that might come up along the way. Hiring a local attorney is not mandatory but it certainly does make things easier for everyone involved, especially if issues regarding physical custody arise down the road. Make sure your lawyer is familiar with the courts that will be hearing your case. If at all possible, hire lawyers who practice primarily in one county or just a few counties so that they can become highly proficient with local judges, procedures and customs. Most importantly, make sure you are working with lawyers specializing in your state’s court system (i.e., whether it’s a federal or state district) as well as pairing up with attorneys experienced in the laws of your particular state if divorce occurs across state lines (most don’t).
7) Establish the right budget for your case and find out what services are covered in this price range
Beware of divorce attorneys who ask for money upfront. You should not pay divorce attorneys out of pocket before they have completed their job for you; divorce is an expensive enough process without having to pay swaths of cash before any actual work has been done. If an attorney requires a large retainer fee, request a detailed listing of fees before retaining him or her as your divorce lawyer because legal representation should never cost you more money than you can afford!
Finally, verify whether or not your family law attorney is a member of an organization such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). These societies only accept experienced attorneys who meet the highest standards of training and ethics. By choosing to work with AAML-affiliated divorce lawyers, you can be sure that your case is in capable hands while simultaneously making a meaningful contribution to the community.
These are all important steps when choosing a family lawyer!
Therefore, before moving forward with the process, think about or ask your divorce attorney what your legal needs are and plan ahead accordingly. The more effort you put into finding the right divorce attorney near me, the better chance you’ll have of obtaining long-term success within the matter.
This is just a shortlist of things that can be done when trying to find the best divorce lawyers for your situation; there are, of course, other steps that could also be helpful in this process. Be sure to consider all options and choose one carefully because this decision will affect the outcome of your case.