Times like these can be some of the most difficult times for people. Dealing with these issues is beyond stressful, especially since all of these issues often affect more than one person, they affect the entire family.
Special Concerns in Family Law Cases
The opposing party in a family law case is most likely a family member, someone you used to love and care about. Maybe you still do love and care about the person, but your marriage is just not working for some reason. Oftentimes your children are involved, and you want the best for them.
The fact that these feelings are involved adds a level of complexity to your case that usually isn’t there in a criminal case. You need an attorney who will be able to help you work through this difficult time.
What should you look for when hiring a family law attorney?
Searching for a family law attorney is quite different than searching for a criminal law attorney. Depending on your situation, you may be looking for a “fighter,” someone who will represent your interests when the going gets tough. You may be looking for a problem solver, someone who will help you work with the opposing party to come to a resolution that is best for everyone.
Because of the delicate situation caused by opposing a husband or wife or mother or father, you need someone who is empathetic, someone who will understand what you are going through and treat your case as if it were his or her own issue.
You need someone you will feel comfortable talking to. Family court cases often involve very personal details and can sometimes get messy and you need someone you can turn to.
So, how do I hire a family law attorney?
There are a number of steps to find the right family law attorney for you. Here is an overview of the process to help you out along the way.
- Think about what you want to accomplish.
Attorneys are people, and all people are different. Decide what your goal is and find an attorney who has the same goal as you do. Do you want to try to win at all costs? Do you want to come to a solution that is a compromise between the parties? Do you want to try to settle outside of court? All of these are acceptable goals, but they are very different.
- Get recommendations from people you trust.
Ask people you know if they have any experience with local family law attorneys. Even if their experience was negative, it will help you narrow down your choices.
- Do some online research.
Check out different websites that have lawyer directories. The South Carolina Bar website is a great resource for finding an attorney in your area that practices the type of law you need.
Read reviews from online legal sites like Avvo.com and Martindale.com. These can be great references for finding attorneys in your area and also reading reviews. You can find out a lot of information about an attorney by reading what their clients have to say about them.
- Check out attorney websites.
These days almost every lawyer out there has a website, and you can tell a lot about an attorney by their website. Is it nice and orderly? Is it a jumbled mess? Most of the time you can find reviews on these sites, too.
Read the bio part of the website to find out an attorney’s background, the type of law they practice, how much experience they have, and so much more. Pay attention to the tone of the website since it can be a good indication of the attorney’s personality.
- Call to set up a consultation with your top choices.
It is so important to meet with your prospective lawyer before you hire them. Sometimes these meetings are even free! Set up consultations with your top choices as soon as you can. An attorney’s schedule can be busy, and you want to get in with them as soon as possible to keep the process going.
- Meet with the prospective attorneys.
You will find out a lot at your consultation, so pay attention to the important things. For example: Were they on time? Were they easy to talk to? Did they seem interested in your problem? Is this someone you are going to be able to get along with?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! How much experience do they have? Do they regularly handle cases like yours? What do they charge? What is their caseload like? Do they return calls quickly?
- Make your final decision.
This will be tough, but you will most likely already know who you feel the most comfortable with by this point. Listen to your gut. Think about who you felt the most at ease with, who you got along with the best, and who you felt like you could trust.
A Few Helpful Pointers
Your major concern is probably what this is going to cost you. You might want to keep in mind that you may not want to go with the the cheapest option, or the most expensive. Searching for an attorney is a lot like searching for a car – you wouldn’t buy the cheapest clunker out there would you? When the issue at hand is your family, don’t risk it on the cheapest option. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but at the same time, it doesn’t make sense to pay more than what you need to. Don’t pay big bucks for a name when you will receive the same or better service for a reasonable price.
Another important consideration, maybe the most important consideration is you have to have someone you can get along with. You need to be able to trust this person. You will be spending a lot of time talking with this person. Make sure you like and can get along with your attorney. The results of your case will often have lasting effects. Make sure you are hiring someone you are comfortable with.
Looking for a family law attorney?
There are many considerations that go into hiring the right attorney for you. There are so many attorneys out there, and with the help of the internet, you can shop for the attorney that is right for you. One attorney might be a great fit for one person and not a great fit for the next person. Shop around and find the one that is right for you.