Divorce, child custody, adoption or any issue relating to family law are always sensitive cases where emotions can run high. Attorneys that take on family law cases need to have a level of compassion and understanding that other fields just don’t require. Finding the right person to take on your case is that much more important and thus more challenging. Here are 5 tips for finding the right family law attorney.
1. Understand Your Goals
Before you start phoning around to attorneys know exactly what you would like to be the end result. Do you want a quick divorce with no stress, or do you expect it to be more difficult? Do you have assets that need to be divided and do you know what assets are important to you? Getting divorced is hard enough, but if you’re clear with your attorney they are better able to help you.
2. Be Realistic about Your Attorney’s Role
Your attorney is there to protect your legal interests, they are not your therapist. While finding an attorney that is compassionate and that listens to you is great, it is far more important to find an attorney that is a pitbull in your corner. You need to find an attorney that will defend your interests zealously not one that will let you cry on their shoulders.
3. Stay Focused
The law and the court system tend to move slowly, even in family law. It can take years to settle a complicated divorce, even “quick” divorces can take months to complete. It can be hard to stay focused as your emotions are put through the wringer. Remember to try and keep your emotions under control and stay focused on the end result.
4. Look for a Couple of Attorneys
Attorneys are not all created equal, they vary in skill level, specialties and cost. Put together a list of a couple of different attorneys that work with the same type of case that you are dealing with. You want to make sure that they are capable of handling your case and have the time to take it on.
5. Talk with a Potential Attorney
You can do this in person or over the phone but you want to go over the details of your case and see if they are a good fit and if you want to work together. You will also need to discuss their fees, lawyers don’t come cheap but most will negotiate their rates but you will need to ask. Here is what you should bring with you to speak with a family attorney.