With 40-50% of all married couples eventually seeking a divorce and 140,000 children adopted each year in the United States, family law attorneys have a lot of work to do.
Whether you need a divorce attorney, adoption lawyer, or child custody attorney, choosing the right legal representation can mean the difference between a swift resolution and more unnecessary stress. Your lawyer becomes your partner in legal processes, enabling you to navigate tricky situations legally and efficiently.
To enjoy the smoothest legal process possible, keep these tips in mind.
Find a lawyer you can work with
Since your attorney is going to be your partner throughout this case, you need to choose them thoughtfully. You’ll be speaking to them frequently, and you may need to confide embarrassing or sensitive information to them. It will also be important that you can understand your attorney’s explanations and questions.
Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial that you choose a lawyer you can trust and communicate well with. A law firm’s website and promotional materials are a good start to learning about a lawyer, but don’t base your decision solely on the firm or their literature. Instead, speak directly to the attorney you’re considering and trust your gut. Ask them if they’ve had experience with cases like yours. As you talk to them, notice whether or not they explain things in a way that makes sense to you, and if you feel like they answer your questions well.
You should interview the family lawyer with your specific case in mind. Ask them how frequently you can expect to hear from them. You don’t want to deal with long delays or radio silence, so you should choose an attorney who is dedicated to touching base regularly. You’ll also need to make sure they’re willing to work within your budget.
Ask others for recommendations
You can find attorneys and law firms just by searching on Google, but it’s often a better idea to ask friends and family members who they recommend. Every family is different, and so is every family law case. The lawyer who will do the best work for you isn’t necessarily the one everyone else seems to like the most.
It’s easy to get confused between choosing a lawyer and choosing a law firm. As a rule, you never want to build a relationship with just a law firm. You want to build a relationship with a specific attorney. If the lawyer managing your case passes it off to an associate at their firm, you should demand an explanation as to why, and ask for the associate’s qualifications and experience.
Along this line, it’s important to ask the lawyer you’re interviewing if they will be personally handling your case, or if they intend to hand it off to someone else at the firm. You need to talk to your lawyer, not their colleague.
Demand expertise and experience
At one time, it wasn’t uncommon for one lawyer to handle cases of all varieties, from real estate to divorce. However, most lawyers today limit their practice to a specific niche. Typically, this is the kind of attorney you’ll want to find: one who specializes in family law. Just as you wouldn’t see a nurse practitioner when you need open-heart surgery, you should usually avoid the “jack of all trades” attorney.
Remember also to take note of an attorney’s success rate and track record when you consider them. You deserve the best for your family, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Don’t give your attorney a blank check
When it comes to paying your attorney, you should be able to find out ahead of time what they will charge for the case. Ask the lawyer you’re considering if there’s a flat rate fee option. If the lawyer charges by the hour, there’s no knowing how much you’ll have to pay by the end of the case. Having a flat rate fee will inform you in advance what you can expect to be paying.
To get the best experience, keep these tips and choose the Law Office of Samuel B. Tipton.