It can be a little challenging to find the right family lawyer because such cases tend to be very emotional. You are forced to go through a lot of options so you can find the right family lawyer. Patience is going to be important during this process. Investing time and effort into this process is going to be important because it prevents you from making a rash decision because of the panic.
Finding the right family law attorney should not be hard, and the tips below will go a long way in helping with this process.
- Interview family lawyers experienced with your type of case
Why are you looking for a family lawyer? Are you looking for help with your divorce, separation agreement, child custody? Are you having a dispute with your former spouse over child visitation? It is important to clearly communicate with a family lawyer about what you are looking for so you hire an attorney who can handle your case efficiently and don’t end up with a process drawn out more than it needs to.
There are some instances in which your situation may call a family lawyer but sometimes mediation is a more covenient, quicker and more affortable. While mediation costs typically average $3000 in the United States, the average divorce case may set you back upwards of $10,000 dollars.
Write down any financial issues and important factors that are relevant to the case. Having your financial information ready to review with the attorney willvmake things easier for the lawyer and save a lot of time, which is going to save you money.
This is going to be an emotional issue for you, but you need to keep in mind that is not the work of the lawyer to be your counselor. He/she is there to help you with legal advice. The relationship needs to be professional and focuses on the issues at hand.
- Be straightfoward with the attorney about your budget and ask him/her about their hourly rate
Attorney fees can be too costly for you if you are not earning much. You need to have a budget so you can know how much you can afford to spend on your legal costs.
Investigate the different attorney fee structures. Get familiar with hourly rates, contingency plans and retainer fees. Ask your familiy lawyer how they structure their legal fees and what are the additional fees that may be disclouse upfront.
Also, ask the attorney if there are ways in which you can help reducing the lawyers’ time, which is going to result in lower costs. You can have all your documents ready and organized, write down the specifics of the desired outcome you seek from hiring the attorney, writing down and be concise about key facts of your case that need to be communicated clearly to your family lawyer.
- Ask for referrals and research the attorneys using legal reviews and state bar sites
You should research as many law firms as you can. This is going to help you learn more about them and know whether the lawyer is the right fit for your case. By looking at how they have dealt with similar cases in the past, you will have an easier time making your choice. Search for their name on Yelp or other online review sites. Use the local state bar’s attorney search tool for any complaints or reports of attorney misconduct.
According to Cindy Diggs – a family law attorney based out of Texas- asking friends or family for a referral is one of the best ways to find legal counsel. who have used the services of a family lawyer before. You should consider asking people for references of family lawyers they have worked with in the past. This way, you are going to find good options to choose from. You will then choose the lawyer you think is best suited for your legal issue or case.
When researching family lawyers, always keep in mind that the experience of the lawyer is one of those key factors you need to look at.
The most experienced family attorneys demand a very high hourly fee, it’s typical for family lawyers in California to charge $350 and up for their services.
There are many other factors that will be taken into consideration when determining the total price for your case, all of the following will increase the price tag:
- Spouses disagree about fundamental things in their divorce
- Number of assets to be distributed
- Total value of the joint assets
- Minor children
- Children’s visitation and child support
- Years of experience of the attorney
- Seek advise from local counsel and avoid travel time related fees
It can be comforting to have a family law practice close especially when dealing with family law matters. Whenever you need assistance, doing things over the phone is not the same as visiting the lawyer personally. Zoom, Microsft Teams and other technological advancement has made things easy for most professionals and individuals to conduct business over the internet. However, having a personal meeting with a lawyer from time to time is important, and this is why you should consider it when choosing a family lawyer. Choose a local lawyer who you can work with to get your desired outcome with reduced stress and anxiety.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that lawyers usually charge traveling time. You can keep the costs low by choosing a lawyer located nearby or somewhere where you can communte easily.
Shopping around, compare fees and ask for a discount
For the most part, a family lawyer, similar to many other businesses, set up and office, market their services and need to make a profit while conducting business and practicing law. Just like any other service, some offer better services and better customer support than others. It would be smart for you to seek a balance between affordability and quality, and a good way is by conducting through research and asking for referrals.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Negotiating with your attorney their legal fees and scope of services should be part of your homework prior to signing an a retainer agreement. You also need to choose a family lawyer who you feel completely comfortable working with. This makes things easier when talking to them when they are working on your case. If don’t feel comfortable working with the lawyer, then look for another option.