How to Hire a Family Law Attorney
Choosing a family law attorney is a serious decision. These steps will help you make the right decision.
Search Local AttorneysSearch for family law attorneys in the county where the case has been filed or will be filed. A local attorney will benefit you the most. A local attorney will be familiar with the local court policies, judges' expectations, court staff, and other attorneys. Search attorney internet sites with reviews from previous clients and information on any prior misconduct of the attorneys. Make a list of the local attorneys you find from your search that seem worth looking into further.
Research the AttorneysResearch the background, experience, qualifications, awards, and reviews of the family law attorneys. You can view the attorneys' websites, but also view attorney review sites and check the state bar internet site for any prior misconduct and to ensure the attorney is in good standing. With the information you have obtained from your research, shorten your list of local attorneys you are interested in hiring as necessary.
Meet with AttorneysMeet with a few family law attorneys. Don't be afraid to pay a consultation fee for an experienced and qualified family law attorney. The advice received in the consultation can be worth your money. Have a list of questions prepared to ask the attorney. Some questions to consider asking are the following:
- How will you communicate with me?
- How quickly can I expect to receive a response to my communication?
- How will I receive the filed documents in my case (You should receive all the documents filed in your case promptly.)
- How much does the attorney charge hourly?
- What is the paralegal's hourly fee?
- In what increments do you bill? Ten minutes? Fifteen minutes?
- How often will I receive a bill?
- Will my bill be itemized?
Make sure you write down all the questions you want to ask the attorney and take that list with you to your meeting with the attorney.
Make a Final DecisionChoose an Attorney who makes you feel comfortable. Choose who you trust. Choose the attorney who makes you feel like they care about you and is listening. Choose an attorney who practices only family law if possible.