Tips for Hiring a Wyoming Family Law Attorney
Family Law attorneys handle a variety of cases, including divorce and separation, adoption, surrogacy, custody and visitation, child support, protection orders, and more.
INITIAL CONTACT: BE BRIEF AND DIRECTNEVER, EVER tell your story in a written or voice message. You don't know if the attorney you're calling, emailing, or messaging is representing or has previously represented another party or witness in your case. Attorneys generally don't owe a duty of privilege or confidentiality to non-clients, so don't say anything you wouldn't want the other side or the judge to hear. DO tell the attorney your name, the kind of case you think you have (divorce, child custody, or something else) and how to contact you. This will enable the attorney to run a conflict check and get back to you if they can help.
ALWAYS MAKE THE CALL YOURSELFDon't have a friend or family member contact an attorney on your behalf unless you are incapable of doing it for yourself. Incapable means you have some kind of physical or mental condition that prevents you from making contact. If you can't make the call, why should the attorney take the call? Attorneys want to know that a potential client takes their case seriously. If you can't call the attorney because you're too upset, you have to work, or some reason other than being incapable, then the attorney instantly knows that it will be difficult for him or her to communicate with you and won't be likely to take your case.
BE PREPAREDOnce you've been able to make contact with the attorney, he or she will want to know the details of your case. Have these prepared and written down in advance so you don't forget anything. This includes the name(s) of other parties or witnesses, critical dates (for example, the date of marriage, date of separation, date of any previous divorces, child support arrears amounts, etc.), whether you have minor children, whether you have a criminal history or not, whether there have been allegations of domestic abuse, and what you want the outcome of the representation to be.
BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR FINANCESEveryone wants to know what it's going to cost, but don't let this be the first question out of your mouth. Generally, attorneys charge an hourly rate or a flat rate (one fee to do everything). Attorneys will likely want a sizeable up-front deposit. As a rule of thumb, if you can't afford the deposit, then you can't afford the representation. Don't let that discourage you! Some attorneys will take cases "pro bono" (free to you) or point you in the direction of an organization that offers low-cost or no-cost legal services. If you ask about the cost before you talk about your case, then you've lost the opportunity to pitch your case and see if the attorney would take you on pro bono or give you a good referral.