No matter what issues you are dealing with, finding the right family law attorney can have an impact on your case. If this is your first time needing the help of a family law attorney, there are several things you should know. Here are some tips on how to find a family law attorney.
Determine Whether a Family Law Attorney Can Help
Some people are not clear about the areas that a family law attorney can help. Here are several issues where you would want a family law attorney on your side rather than another type of lawyer:
- Child custody & visitation
- Child support modification & enforcement
- Juvenile delinquency & dependency proceedings
- Pre and postnuptial agreements
- Child Support
If your legal issue falls under one of these categories, then a family law attorney can help.
Search for a Family Law Attorney Near the Area Where Your Case Will be Filed
Hiring a family law attorney near the area where your case will be filed is beneficial because the attorney will be familiar with the court staff, judges, and court buildings. This can make proceedings go smoother and make it easier to file paperwork. If you’re not sure where to start your search, the American Bar Association website can help as well as the bar association in the state where you live. You can also ask around for references and referrals. This can give you a good indication of an attorney’s reputation and if they come highly recommended.
Check Online Reviews
Online reviews can be a good resource when you want to know about an attorney you are unfamiliar with. Read what people are saying, especially if the review is from someone who had the same type of case you’re seeking representation for. See how they describe the attorney’s work and if they were satisfied. Also, look to see if the majority of reviews are positive or negative.
How to Find a Family Law Attorney: Look for Expertise
The outcome of a family law case can drastically impact your life. When you’re wondering how to find a family law attorney remember to look for one who has experience in the issue you need help with.
If you are having issues regarding child custody, you want a lawyer who has a great deal of experience in child custody issues. Ask how many cases (approximately) they’ve covered and how many produced a positive outcome for their client. If you can’t get straight answers, you may want to move on to the next attorney on your list. Although each case will have its own set of challenges, you want to make sure that the attorney you’re hiring has handled many cases like yours in the past.
Make Sure the Attorney Has Time for Your Case
Although you can’t expect your attorney to devote all of their time and attention to your case, you want to make sure the attorney has the time needed to handle your case. You want the attention that your case deserves to give you a better chance of a positive outcome. You can ask the attorney if they have a heavy caseload and how much time they anticipate your case will take. And you should feel as though your case will be a priority and that it will get the attention it deserves.
Make a List & Narrow Your Choices
After doing your research, make a list of a few attorneys you are considering. Some offices offer a free first consultation where you can ask several questions about your cars. With others, you may be able to ask questions over the phone. Whichever the case, you want to be sure to ask the following questions:
- What are the typical costs associated with a case like mine?
- How long have you practiced and do you have experience with my type of case?
- What are the possible outcomes of my case?
- Who will primarily be handling my case?
- What information do you need to get started?
Since you will be getting a lot of information at once, write down the answers so that you can refer to them as you make your final selection. Also, be mindful of how you are treated on the phone or during a consultation and if you’re comfortable. If you are not satisfied with the answers you receive or something makes you uncomfortable, consider this a red flag to move on to the next person on your list.
Ask Your Attorney What Their Plan of Action Would Be
After hearing the specifics of your case, your attorney should have a basic plan of action. How do they plan on preparing for your case? What information or documents will you need to provide? What are the steps that need to be taken? These are all questions that your attorney should be able to answer as they devise their plan of action.
If you get the feeling that your attorney seems lost or unsure about how they would handle your case, it’s probably best to move on. The objective of hiring a family law attorney is to gain the knowledge and expertise of someone who has handled your type of situation before. This means they should have a basic plan of how they’re going take on your case.
If you need the help of a family law attorney, Illaraza Law, P.C. is here for you. We have helped countless clients deal with a variety of family law issues. From adoption to child custody to divorce and alimony, we have the expertise needed to handle your case.