How to Choose a Family Law Attorney

Family Law AttorneyWhen you are dealing with divorce, child custody, support or other types of family law issues, it’s important to have an idea of what to look for in an attorney. Not all attorneys are the same, and you’re better off finding one that is best suited to your individual case. Here are some tips on identifying the appropriate family law attorney in your area.

Experience

There is no doubt an attorney who is familiar with the formal procedures of family law issues is beneficial.  It is also to your benefit to work with an attorney who knows the nuances of a particular court because local rules and procedures can vary from one county to another.  An attorney who has several years of experience in navigating a local or regional area with regard to family law is also more likely to help move the process along quickly and to be as prepared as possible when heading into court.

Although you might be able to resolve some issues outside of court, if you have already tried negotiation, mediation, or other forms of resolution without satisfactory results, it is crucial to find someone who is experienced in litigation.  In this scenario, make the most of your time and money by having an experienced family law attorney who is knowledgeable and prepared.

Billing

Not all family law attorneys bill in the same manner.  Most charge on an hourly basis, however, rates per hour can vary.  Hourly rates are beneficial if your case is uncontested and uncomplicated.  That being said, it’s not uncommon for more complex issues, like a contested divorce, to end up taking longer than expected, resulting in a level of uncertainty of the overall cost.  It is important your attorney communicates with you regarding anticipated costs and fees and submit to you a detailed monthly billing statement.

Sometimes attorneys will charge a flat fee for particular issues or use a hybrid combination of flat fee and hourly fee.  Regardless of what your attorney offers, be sure that you’re comfortable with the process and that your responsibilities are outlined in the fee agreement.  It’s always better to know up front for what you are responsible.

On this line, make sure you ask questions about how the attorney believes the case will unfold.  You will feel more confident and prepared when you are informed about what to expect.