Family law is a specific body of law that deals with divorce, adoption, child custody, and guardianship. You would consult a family law attorney if you’re looking for someone who can help you with a pre-nuptial agreement or you’re experiencing marriage problems to the point of considering separation.
Here are some steps you should follow when you’re in the market for a good family law attorney.
1. Which jurisdiction?
Courts are typically county-specific, so you need to determine which county you’ll be filing legal action in. Then, you’ll want an attorney familiar with the laws and judges in that county.
To find a good attorney, you can always start by Googling “family law [county name]”. You can also go the old-fashioned route, and check the Yellow Pages. Various online referral services, such as LawInfo, Lawyers.com, and FindLaw can help you locate names of potential counsel.
2. Set up appointments
Once you have a list of five or six possible attorneys, make an appointment with each one. This will usually be a no-fee consultation. Any attorney that doesn’t offer a free initial consultation should probably be crossed off of your list.
3. Prepare for your interviews
You will basically be interviewing these attorneys. Remember, whoever you select will end up working for you. For the interview, make sure you have all of the necessary documentation specific to your case. Lawyers thrive on paperwork. They need it to verify key pieces of data.
Make sure you are also familiar with the facts surrounding your case. You’ll likely get asked questions about the situation by the attorney, so you should understand your case well enough to be able to answer those questions.
4. Interview conduct
It’s best to arrive early at the attorney’s office. This is because you might be required to fill out some forms. While you’re there, note certain things that will help you evaluate the make your decision.
Does the staff demonstrate politeness and professionalism? Does the office seem full of clients? If it’s too full, the attorney might not be able to pay particular attention to your case. If there are no other clients, then you might be concerned about that as well.
5. Post-interview decision
After all your interviews are over, cross off the attorneys that, for whatever reason, are no longer suitable candidates. Then, get references and talk to acquaintances about the remaining candidates. Be sure also to check online reviews. You can usually find reviews when Googling for online resources pertaining to family law in a specific county.
Once you have completed this second stage of attorney evaluation, you can select the best candidate and begin your legal proceedings.