How to Find the Best Family Law Attorney for You
For most, the first step taken when either going through or thinking about going through a divorce is to find an attorney. This first step can be daunting as there are so many options, both good and bad, and it is a crucial you make the right decision. The purpose of this blog is to ease the initial stress of finding an attorney by giving you a simple road map to follow and hopefully help you make the right choice, for you.
Step 1: How do I find an attorney?
There a few different ways individuals are finding representation these days. A prominent and perhaps the most traditional way, is by word-of-mouth. Often, like any other industry, others are going to ask someone who is going through, or has already gone through the process before. Therefore, you will be getting recommendations from those that either have been divorced, going through a divorce or thinking of going through a divorce.
Another option, if you do not know anyone in that situation, is to ask another attorney you know who practices in another legal field. Chances are they will likely know someone who practices Family Law.
If you don’t know anyone going through or having gone through a divorce, and you don’t know any attorneys, another option which has gained popularity is the internet. Many people are scouring the internet these days using different search engines to find their attorney. Perhaps shockingly, this approach can work just as well or even better than the other two methods.
The reason this practice can be better is that you can see a lot of different attorneys and law firms in a very short amount of time. Here, you can go from webpage to webpage viewing different features and functions of each firm, attorney and staff. This is probably the best use of your time to see a wide range of attorneys and narrow down your options. Since the technology is there you may as well use it to your advantage to find the best attorney available for you.
As you can see, there are a few different ways to find an attorney, no way is no better than the other, it just depends on your preference. However, it would be our recommendation you view the attorney’s website, as you can learn a lot from the appearance and content.
Step #2: What kind of Attorney is right for me?
As you are probably already aware after searching, there are a multitude of choices. You may be wondering how you are suppose to narrow them down and know who is right for you?
It is really pretty easy, there are two things you MUST take into consideration when picking an attorney; price and practice style. These two factors will undoubtedly resonate with you throughout your entire divorce. If you are going to have a dispute with your attorney, it is going to be over one or both of these.
So, solve these issues at the outset and you will greatly increase your chances of finding the right attorney for you, and only having one.
The price is an obvious factor. You should only get an attorney that you can afford. If you get an attorney you cannot afford, your relationship with them becomes strained, contentious and can ultimately end up not working out. To assure your best possible chance of fostering a good relationship with your attorney, and to obtain the best possible outcome in your case, make sure you are both on the same page as far as your budget. Have the attorney be clear about their billing process, the chances your initial retainer will cover your entire case, and how much they speculate your entire case costing. If both parties are upfront and honest from the very beginning, it should cultivate a copasetic working relationship.
A less obvious factor to take into consideration when hiring your attorney is their practice style. We often get calls from people requesting a certain kind of attorney. Potential new clients will say, “I want someone who is aggressive,” “I want someone who will be able to guide me through the process,” “I want someone with experience” or “I want someone that went to Harvard.” There is never a shortage of request coming from potential new clients of their attorney. But be careful what you ask for.
We cannot express enough the importance that you match yourself with someone that has the type of practice style you prefer. If you do not, you will likely be unhappy with your representation and it may cost you more money as a result. Take time to consider the type of attorney you want to represent you and be mindful what is at stake.
Step 3: How do I select an attorney?
Once you have narrowed your attorney search after having satisfied the attorney’s price and practice style, it would be in your best interest to contact each attorney. It is only after contacting each attorney that you gain a full understanding of them and their practice.
Before contacting each attorney have a list of questions written down to make your time with the attorney run as efficiently as possible. Some initial questions for you to consider are: how much is a consultation, how much is the initial retainer, how much do you see my case costing, do think I need any experts, how do you bill, how does your staff assist you, and how they can help you specifically.
It is important that after consultation with the attorney, you feel a sense of ease and comfort with them. It is important you have a good rapport with your counsel. Just think — you will be working very close with them on matters that are very intimate and important to you. You will be discussing things like custody and visitation of your children, child support, spousal support, division of assets and debts, and division of property. Therefore, you’ll need to like, trust and be comfortable with your attorney so they can do the best job possible for you.
Step #4: Now that I have selected an attorney, now what?
Once you have selected your attorney, sign the retainer agreement and the attorney can then begin to work on your case.
If have any questions concerning this blog or anything else Family Law related feel free to either give us a call at 1-877-877-1-LAW or visit our website at www.sullivankrieger.com. You might find that our firm would be a good fit for you, as we have attorneys to accommodate most budgets, an array of experienced attorney with different practice styles and a staff that operates as a team that is willing to support you at every turn.