Family law can encompass many aspects of law. It covers divorce, child custody, separation agreements, post and pre nuptials and much more. Some families have an attorney they can go to for estate planning. As you can see family law is a wide field so it’s important that your family lawyer be well versed in the right law when it matters because aspects of family law can get very specific. It’s for this reason, you should get to know your family law attorney. How do you do that? Here are a few things to know about your family lawyer with some questions to ask:
- Respect: Is the attorney well respected in the field? You can learn this by reading reviews on places such as AVVO.com or by researching the local Bar to be sure there are no serious complaints lodged against him/her. If you see positive reviews, great! If you see negative, give a thought to the content of the review and why that person may have written the review in that manner. Did the attorney do something negative or was it simply the process with which the client was frustrated?
- Knowledge and Experience in the Field: Does the attorney have sufficient knowledge and experience handling cases similar to my situation? Ask him/her directly. Explain your situation as an overview and ask if he or she has handled that type of case. Can he or she speak to the issues and does he or she appear to understand and know the law?
- Communications: How does the attorney handle communications? Will the attorney communicate with you via phone call or email? How often? It is critical that you understand before you hire a lawyer how the two of you will communicate and that this method is one that suits your communication personality.
- Explanations of the Law: Does the attorney answer your questions completely and in terms that you can easily understand? Do not be afraid to ask the attorney to break things down for you. He/she is educated in the law. You are not.
- Trust: Do you trust the attorney? Does the attorney demonstrate a sincere interest in helping you to the point that you can trust her with your situation? This is a cornerstone to the relationship between you and your lawyer. You need to be able to trust her because she will be helping you make some of the most important decisions in your life. If you don’t feel a connection with the person, it may be appropriate to meet with another attorney to see if that yields a better connection. It is important that you connect with someone who will be your family lawyer since he or she will be handling the most delicate and private issues of your life.
- Willing to Go to Trial: Is the attorney ready, willing, able, and experienced enough to go to court hearings or trial on your behalf when necessary? Sometimes court is necessary. The last thing you want is to be tied by a lawyer who is afraid to go to court and must accept some form of settlement that is not in your best interest. Make sure you have a lawyer who can “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”. Paperwork and investigation are only a portion of the process.
- Overall Feeling: Do you feel you can work well with the attorney? You may find the best lawyer in the world, but if you cannot stand to be in the same room together, it does not matter. Make sure that you can communicate with the attorney and that you work well together. Sometimes cases draw out longer than planned.
If you are looking for a family lawyer, contact our office. We offer a free consultation so that you have time to evaluate whether Christine is the attorney for your case. Want to know more about Christine? Visit our About page.