How To Choose The Right Family Law Lawyer
The practice of family law, which includes things like divorce, child custody, child visitation, alimony, and adoption, is an art not a science. Because it is an art, there are many approaches, styles, and tools attorneys can use to represent you in your family law matter. One size does not fit all!
The "SCORCHED EARTH" Traditional Trial LawyerThis type of lawyer LOVES to go to trial. He gets a lot of satisfaction being in court and winning for his client. This lawyer probably thinks that lawyers who don't take cases to trial are not "real" lawyers. You might find this lawyer in a lavish office, possibly with marble flooring, expensive antique furniture, and other office furnishings worth more than your car, home, and investments combined! This lawyer might suggest using a lot of legal tools to get boatloads of information for trial. He might suggest doing depositions of family members, friends, co-workers, and maybe the dog too. No trial is too expensive for this type of lawyer as long as you, the client, can continue to pay his legal fees. Emotional damage to you and your family is probably not a concern of his, and winning at trial is of primary importance. Your feelings are not relevant or important. Of course, the above is a generality and probably will not be true for all lawyers of this type.
The "High-Volume, Low-Price" LawyerThis type of lawyer probably wants to be the "Walmart" of law firms, carrying a large inventory of cases and offering very low fees. Generally, when one lawyer has a significantly high volume of cases she personally handles, she is probably unable to provide the personal attention many clients want. This lawyer may not be able to provide you with the quality of time your case needs. If she has a trial in your case on Monday and another trial in a separate case on Wednesday, she may not be able to devote enough time to prepare your case properly. Again, the above are generalities and will not apply to all lawyers of this type.
The "Settlement Negotiator"This type of lawyer focuses her attention on working with you to negotiate a settlement that you can live with. She knows that in many cases, the probability of getting you everything you want is very low. She understands the principles of negotiation, the psychology of conflict, and how people think and react. This lawyer is likely to have advanced training in mediation and other alternative dispute resolution concepts and techniques. She also thinks that going to trial should be the last resort, and the only option available after all other attempts to resolve your case have failed. Your feelings are important to her. She cares about your well-being, the well-being of your family, and practices in a way that tries to minimize emotional harm and damage to your family.
There Are Many Types - Choose WiselyThere are as many types of family law lawyers as there are people. Your job is to find the right one for you. You are going to be working closely with whomever you choose, so try to choose someone you like.