Short Course on Lawyers – Getting to Square 1

Selecting a Family Lawyer Whether you’re thinking of getting a divorce, seeking custody of your kids, adopting a child or planning any step related to family law, selecting the right family law attorney can make a huge difference. Your lawyer is going to be your partner through the process, helping you attain the outcome you want without breaking the law. The following are tips for choosing the right attorney: Personal Comfort and Trust
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Your lawyer is going to be your partner as your case progresses. You may have to reveal private or embarrassing information – things you would rather keep to yourself. Choose someone you are comfortable with and actually like. Communication is critical.
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Interviewing Prospective Lawyers As you interview prospective attorneys, bear your needs in mind. Several lawyers will give you an free appointment so that you can both assess if you’re a good match for each another. During the interview, also consider your budget. Lawyers are used to discussing fees and costs up front with their clients or would-be clients, so this should not be a problem. Seeking Advice A solicited advice is always good to ask, but in the end, you have to make your own decision. The best way to find a good family lawyer is to ask friends or relatives for recommendations. Law firm websites and reviews also come in handy, along with online lawyer guides. Regardless of where you get your initial information, talk to the lawyer before you decide. Besides, all families and all family law cases are unique. A Lawyer, Not a Law Firm Focus on looking for a lawyer, not a law firm. Again, your lawyer will be our partner in your case, or make him responsible for the job he has to do. If your case is handed to an associate, you should demand an explanation and information on the associate’s experience. Expertise and Experience An increasing number of lawyers are concentrating their practice on particular areas, including family law. You don’t go to a GP for brain surgery, and if you’re planning to get divorce, you don’t go to a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in family law. Settlement and Litigation Expertise Out of court settlement is the usual conclusion to a family law case, but sometimes, the case also goes to court. You need a lawyer who is equally competent in settlement negotiations and court trials. Ask your prospective lawyer about his training and experience in family law negotiation, mediation, and collaborative law. Ask him if he can competently handle your case in court if attempts at a settlement prove to be futile. Fees and Costs Don’t pay with a blank check. You need to have a good idea of what your costs will be. Ask about an option to pay a flat fee, which allows a more accurate estimate of your final bill. If no such option is offered, it will be practically impossible to know how much your costs might be. But of course, an experienced lawyer will be able to provide a reasonable estimate.