Family law cases can be extremely stressful. However, what can be even more stressful is finding the right attorney for your case.
Just like family law cases can be different from one another, so can attorneys. Family law cases commonly involve divorce, child custody, spousal support, child support, domestic violence and other issues that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. So, how do you determine which family law attorney is right for you?
5 questions to ask a family law attorney
When you call or meet with a family law attorney for the first time, it is known as an “initial consultation.” Initial consultations allow you to tell the attorney the facts and issues in your case, and the attorney to describe how he or she would handle your situation.
It also provides a time to ask questions to determine if the attorney is someone you could see yourself working with. After all, legal proceedings can sometimes take months to years, so it is important to find someone who is the right fit for you. Five helpful questions to ask include:
- How long have you practiced family law? Family law can be extremely complex. Attorneys with decades worth of experience can help resolve intricacies in your case that new lawyers might not notice right away.
- Have you ever taken on a case on like mine? While no case is exactly like another, there can be similarities between cases. Attorneys with previous experience on a specific type of issue can use their knowledge to help acquire the best solution for you.
- How do you prefer to communicate? It can be helpful to ask who handles client questions, what type of communication (phone or email) the attorney prefers and how long it normally takes to receive a response? It is important to find an attorney who takes the time to answer your questions and works to make you feel as comfortable as possible with the happenings in your case.
- How do you structure your fees? Typically, attorneys will charge an hourly rate that is billed against a retainer. It can be helpful to know how an attorney prefers to receive payments and any additional costs that might be associated with your case.
- Is a collaborative approach possible? Collaborative approaches can help individuals to resolve a family law issue without going to court. Generally, this involves conversations, mediation and other mutually respectful interactions. If you are interested in this type of approach, it can be beneficial to seek an attorney with experience using the collaborative process.
Family law issues can have a significant impact on a person’s life. If you are involved in a family law case, take the time to find an attorney who is the right fit for you. Your attorney should be someone you trust and feel comfortable with to advocate for you throughout the legal process.