Finding a great family lawyer can be hard to come by. Keep reading for 10 important steps to finding the best family lawyer.
The global legal services market is expected to grow to $1011 billion by 2021. The market growth has seen legal service firms strive to improve their productivity. If you’ve got a personal case that requires the best family lawyer, your chances of getting one are high.
The first step towards finding the best family lawyer is to know your needs and those of your family. Whether you have inheritance issues or are threatened with a divorce, get the best family lawyer.
Here are some ten essential steps to finding the best attorney. Read on!
1. Prepare Yourself for the Process
After you decide that you need the best family lawyer, there are a few things you need to do. First, consider the goals for your consultation. Do you want to seek general advice, or do you need some specific task done immediately?
This will determine whether you’ll go to the office or make a phone call. If you need representation, where is the court located? You may want to work with an out-of-town attorney.
For example, it could be that you want tips on how to represent yourself in court. Alternatively, maybe you want the attorney to draft an agreement for you.
After you’ve determined this, the next step is to set a budget. This should be a reasonable amount that can help you achieve your goals. The amount you set apart is a silent indicator of how important it is for you to win the case.
Knowing the amount you’re willing to spend will save you from overspending on your case.
Thirdly, consider your personality style. Would you like to have a lawyer who frequently updates you on what’s happening? Is your preference to “drop off and pick up” issues?
What’s your preferred mode of communication? Each firm has its personality style. Understanding your style will help you get the best out of the interaction.
However, preferences can vary depending on the case at hand. For example, in one case, you may prefer a more gentle approach while in another, aggression may work better.
2. Choosing the Best Family Lawyer
Now you know what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend. It’s time to shop around for a lawyer. You can start by looking for recommendations from friends and family.
Seeking recommendations helps you narrow down your choices and identify the most suitable professional.
From the recommendations you get, choose a law firm that specializes in family law. A lawyer’s level of specialization will increase your chances of achieving success.
As a tip, go for a firm that provides multiple points of contact. It can be quite frustrating when you need some questions answered but can’t get a hold of your lawyer. A firm that offers various contact points is dedicated to having their client’s needs met at all times.
3. Meeting the Lawyer
You could make a phone call before the actual meeting. A short phone call gives you an overview as to whether you can work with the firm. Are they easy to understand, and do you like their style of working?
If you’re satisfied with these factors, arrange for a meeting where you can further discuss your needs.
4. Find out Their Specialty
You mentioned to your contacts that you’re looking for the best family lawyer. However, you still need to hear it from the lawyer. You might have come to a family lawyer but find out that they hardly practice family law.
It’d also be ideal to find out how regularly he handles family matters. If he hasn’t dealt with a case like yours, a lawyer with enough experience will know how to go about it.
While at this, you should find out how long they’ve specialized. Check their date of admission to see how long they’ve been practicing.
5. Discuss Money Issues
You already determined your budget but want to see if the lawyer you pick is within your range. Find out what their retainers are, both refundable and billable. Ask what this amount covers, the flat free rates if any, and everything they charge you for.
Do the charges come to you like a comprehensive or general bill? Are the costs calculated from a minimum time increment or for actual time spent on your case? All these are small details that matter because they could add up to a lot of money.
6. Listen to How They Approach Your Case
In matters of family law, there are differing views on what is defined as a win. For example, in the case of custody over children, the party that doesn’t get custodial rights may feel aggrieved. It can result in a conflict which will ultimately hurt the children in question.
Be careful about a lawyer who promises you’ll get everything you want. A fierce litigator can’t be a collaborative negotiator in the same case. Some firms like Family Lawyers Verhaeghe Law Office have subspecialists such as experts, litigators, and negotiators, allowing their clients to find the right professional.
Let the lawyer tell you the possible outcomes of your case. While some cases could take a few months to resolve, others may take several years. Depending on the facts and proof you provide, the firm should be able to hint what you should expect.
7. What is the Major Problem They Foresee in Your Case?
Every case is unique can presents its fair share of challenges. If your attorney says there are no problems in your case, they might not be the best for you. Take note that not all problems are serious, with some being easier to overcome than others.
Look at this example. You could be having an uncontested absolute divorce case, but your partner doesn’t want to get served. In such a case, the course can’t grant you the divorce before the other party is served.
Knowing what the costs would be in such a case is useful for your planning purposes.
8. Find out Who’ll Be Working on Your Case
You could be talking to one lawyer today, but a different one shows up in court. You need to know whether other attorneys in the office will stand in for your lawyer once in a while. Other vital factors are general turn-around time on communication.
On matters communication, whom will you call when the need arises? Does the attorney check his email or has an assistant for that? Knowing about the day-to-day communication will help you understand what to expect in urgent situations.
9. Choose Another Lawyer from the Firm
The first step towards winning is establishing a good relationship with your attorney. After you’ve determined that you’ve found the best family lawyer, ensure you can work together. How the lawyer talks to you or answers your question is an indication of what you can expect.
If you’re not comfortable with the attorney you first meet up with, don’t be afraid to ask for a replacement. Specialist firms will have several solicitors. It’s in their best interest to ensure you find the right one.
10. Presenting Your Case
Your lawyer will ask you several questions concerning your case. You’re required to gather details about the case that may have slipped away from your mind. Your lawyer will expect you to answer them honestly and accurately.
It would help if you can go through the details of your case in advance. Don’t ignore the minor things as they could spell the difference between winning and losing the case.
This is where your documents come in handy. If your lawyer doesn’t tell you which documents to carry for the first meeting, decide on your own. An online search can help make the decision easier.
After making the decision, make copies of all documents. Since you may visit more than one attorney’s office, it’s best that you have more than one copy with you. Remember to leave all the original documents at home to avoid losing them in any case.
Only carry the originals when asked by your attorney or the court. Ensure to have them handed back to you after the session.
Finding the best family lawyer is the first step towards guaranteeing the best outcome in a family case. Your family and their future are important. When legal issues arise, it’s only fair that you get the best solicitor to help resolve them.
It’s crucial that you know why you need a lawyer in the first place. Do you just need advice on your case, or is there something specific you want the lawyer to do for you? Ask for recommendations from your contacts as this will help narrow down your choices.
Upon scheduling an appointment with the lawyer, ask all the relevant questions. Do they specialize in family law? How much are their charges, and what do they think the outcome on your case will be?
Once you decide on the lawyer to work with, put all the details of your case together. Having them ready will help the lawyer build up a strong case for you. Once you know you’ve got the best lawyer, cooperate with them, and let them help you win the case.
If you have any thoughts, be sure to share them in the comments.