Family law is the area of law that deals with family relationships such as divorce, adoption, child custody, and other issues that affect family relationships. Family law attorneys focus on cases related to these types of legal events and are experts in their field with years of training and experience. If you’re in the market for a family law attorney, taking the time to select the right one for you and your case can pay dividends in the future. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when seeking an attorney for your case.
What You Should Look for in a Family Law Attorney
Sets Reasonable Expectations: An attorney who promises everything you want to hear up front should raise a red flag. Instead, they should listen carefully to what you tell them and set realistic expectations for case duration, cost estimates, and likely case outcomes. If an attorney is open and transparent on these topics right away, you can trust they will be on what is happening in your case going forward.
Competence: Indicators of competence can include the reputation of the firm and/or the years of experience an attorney has, particularly in the specific area of law you need. The best attorneys surround themselves with skilled paralegals and support teams, who will be working on your case. However, your attorney should also stay engaged with you and communicate with you directly.
Responsiveness: Timely responses early in the client-attorney relationship indicate an attorney will be prompt throughout the whole legal process. Anderson Hunter attorney Laurie Ummel says, “I feel like it’s part of my responsibility to make sure my client to some degree understands the process and what’s happening. If there’s a delay, why is that happening? If we can’t get a response on something, why is that?” Getting answers and explanations early and often can save you much frustration as your case progresses, even when things do not go as you invision or plan.
Personal Fit: Is this attorney the right one for you? Do you feel comfortable talking with him or her? Will you be able to trust (and follow) their professional judgment as your case moves forward? These are questions to ask when the three criteria above are met. You should choose an attorney who feels right for you as well as having the right qualifications.
Benefits of Being Represented by an Attorney
The legal complexity surrounding family law cases can be intimidating. Family law attorneys help cut through the legalease and present your case to a judge with the highest chances of a positive outcome. While some people choose the “pro se” option, representing yourself without the legal advice and expertise of a trained attorney means taking chances with some of the most important things in most people’s lives, including your children and your money. Here are the top three benefits of being represented by a family law attorney:
- Peace of mind: Life events requiring attorneys are often stressful and emotional. Adding to the mix a complicated legal process with all its forms and procedures can be overwhelming. You can trust a trained family law attorney and their team to handle all the details of your case, keeping you aware of your responsibilities each step of the way.
- Understanding the Process: Without an attorney, it’s easy to feel like a fish out of water during your legal case. Attorneys and clients dialogue collaboratively so you’ll be aware of the what and the why behind each step of the process in your case. No need to consult textbooks in your local law library, your attorney is only a phone call or email away.
- Increased Chances of a Positive Outcome: Experienced family lawyers know the ins and outs of nearly every family law scenario. They will use their years of training and experience to identify the most strategic legal route for you to take. You can expect your side to be expressed and defended with the utmost skill and professionalism.
Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Attorney in Everett
Before you hire a lawyer, make sure you take the time to ask them some important preliminary questions. You want to make sure they are qualified and competent to handle your case, and that you feel comfortable communicating with them. Here are 8 recommended questions to ask your attorney before you make your hiring decision.
- How many years have you been practicing family law?
- Do you have a history of successful cases?
- Will you be communicating with me directly during the process?
- Do you work alone or with a team? Can I meet those who will be working on my case?
- Do you have a cost estimate for the case? How will you charge me? An hourly rate?
- Is there anything I can do to keep my costs down?
- How long do you think the case will last?
- Based on what you know, how do you think a judge will rule my case?
With these considerations in mind, you’re better prepared to select the right family law attorney for your case. If you have any questions about family law, divorce law, or the legal process, contact your local law firm today to speak with an experienced attorney.