17 Jan 3 Steps To Take When Looking for a Family Attorney
A broken marriage, child custody disputes, disagreements over interests in family businesses and/or accounts and fights over community property are all matters that require the assistance of an experienced family lawyer. Choosing the right lawyer to represent you can make the difference between an acceptable outcome or a prolonged, painful process. Here are three steps to take when looking for a family attorney.
Get Recommendations From Trusted Sources
As soon as you know you’ll need a lawyer to represent you in a divorce, discreetly ask trusted friends for recommendations. Probe a little to make sure they’re not just recommending their brother-in-law’s cousin who they think might be a lawyer. You need names of experienced divorce law attorneys in your state who practice family law.
Look for online reviews of the names you’ve gathered. Review law firm websites and read their blog (if they have one). Do they present themselves professionally online? Do they write well? Do they sound aggressive, or do they emphasize finding the best outcome for you? All of these things are points you should consider.
Ask Important Questions
Once you’ve narrowed your list to two or three candidates, ask for a face-to-face meeting. Many family attorneys will provide you with a free initial consultation to assess whether they think they can help you and secure a good outcome for you. Ask about their fee structure and whether you’d be working directly with the lawyer you’re speaking to or if your case would be assigned to a less experienced associate.
Think About Your Desired Outcome and Consider Compatibility
Divorce and child custody can be so emotional that you can lose sight of what you really want out of the process. LaCoste Family Law practices family law in the tri-cities, Washington state area. Washington state is a no-fault divorce state; that means the court doesn’t care why your marriage is ending. Instead, the court will focus on finding a “just and equitable” solution for dividing property, assigning responsibilities for child support, and for custody and visitation. Focusing on revenge for past misbehavior will get you nowhere.
When you go to meet with lawyers you’re thinking about hiring, you should already know what you regard as the optimal outcome for you. It’s possible you and your soon-to-be-ex can reach an amicable agreement, create an acceptable parenting plan for your kids, and secure court approval for your divorce settlement without a lot of drama.
But if you’re expecting a tough fight or vengeful and petty behavior from your spouse, ask the lawyer how they deal with situations like that.
You’ll get a feeling right away when you meet an attorney you don’t think you could work well with. Be attentive to things like how they listen (or don’t), if they spend more time selling themselves to you than answering your questions, and if they let confidential information about other cases slip into the conversation. Does the attorney give you confidence? Do they seem like a person who can be calm even if you’re not? The lawyer you eventually hire should have a demeanor that makes you comfortable.
With these three steps to take when looking for a family attorney, you should be able to find an attorney with a good track record, the ability to listen to and advise you impartially, and who can secure the most desirable outcome for you.