9 Must-Ask Questions For A Family Law Attorney
Seeking legal counsel when embroiled in some kind of family dispute is the best way to move forward and get out of the trouble you find yourself in. An established family law attorney can help you in matters dealing with legal separation, divorce, paternity, child support, spousal support, restraining orders, wills and trusts, estate planning, premarital agreements, and much more. Irrespective of the legal issue, the right representation can help you make the most out of the turmoil.
That said, before you choose a family law attorney to represent you, you must conduct an interview to ensure that he/she can meet your needs competently.
Must-Ask Questions For A Family Law Attorney During The Interview
Lawyers often offer a low-cost or free consultation to discuss the details of the case and explore possible avenues that can be pursued. This is the perfect time to ask the attorney a list of questions. The answers will not only help you understand the merits of the case but also determine if the attorney is right for you. While the questions will vary according to the kind of case you need help with, you can consider the following 9 questions that will help you make the right choice:
1. How much experience do you have?
You will naturally be better off with a veteran attorney representing you, although that depends on the precise circumstances. Asking this question will let you know the lawyer is well-versed with the existing laws concerning family disputes. Ask the attorney if he/she has handled different types of cases over time and find out their track record. Also, find out the number of cases that they helped settle outside the court premises. All these questions will help you understand if the lawyer is compatible with your needs and can defend your case.
2. Who is your target clientele, and what kind of cases do you typically handle?
This is another question that will help you choose the right attorney for the job at hand. For instance, if it is an adoption case that you require assistance with, you might want to think about changing the lawyer you had in mind if he/she primarily handles estate planning cases. You must also ask them their typical clientele base as lawyers who represent corporate clients might not be best suited to handle the interests of the common man.
3. What will be the cost, and what will be the billing structure?
It is important to find affordable representation as legal cases can burn a hole in your pocket if you are not careful. Find out the cost of the services and if it works for you, inquire about the billing cycle and the payment options. Moreover, check if the attorney works on a retainer. Also, inquire about a discount if your case will be handled by paralegals. It is important to know about any hidden costs, additional expenses, or filing fees beforehand so that you are not surprised at a later stage.
4. Can my family issue be solved in any other way?
Remember that it can be an expensive affair to hire a family law attorney, particularly if your case goes to court. Hence, you must ascertain any other options you might have. Out-of-court arrangements such as arbitration not only spare you a lot of expenses and time but also emotional distress and undue anxiety. It could also spare trauma for the other family members that are involved in the case.
5. How often will I be updated about the progress of the case?
You must establish beforehand how frequently the attorney will update you about the progress of the case. You can also ask the lawyer about appropriate timings to call so that you can reach him/her by email, phone number, fax, or any other communication method that you both agree on.
6. Could you share copies of all the relevant documents?
You must request the attorney for all correspondences related to your case for your records. Moreover, ask the attorney how you will be given these documents, either electronically or by traditional mail. A good family law attorney will ensure that the client is provided with copies of all documents related to the case, particularly if it involves a settlement.
7. Will we work on the case together?
While some family attorneys prefer approaching the case using their own perspective, others value the inputs of clients. Ensure that your goal of the case matches theirs, and ask the attorney if he/she would be comfortable with a collaborative effort and point of view. Furthermore, find out if he/she would encourage mediation over a lengthy court proceeding as an outcome.
8. What do you expect from me as a client?
The family law attorney will undoubtedly have expectations from you, so it is important that you determine a working structure of things. Inquire about the overall estimated cost and the factors that can influence that estimate. Also, ask the attorney what might be required of you so that you go into it with all the details. Remember that one small misstep can hurt your case irrevocably.
9. How strong does my case look?
You would naturally want to hire a lawyer who can get out the outcome you deserve. Therefore, you must be straight with the family law attorney during the initial consultation and ask him/her if the case can have a favorable outcome. Being honest, allows the attorney to give you an honest assessment of your case and possible outcome. Explain the situation and ask what your chances are upfront so that you know what you are getting into.
Get In Touch With Us For Competent Family Attorney Representation
It is important to find the right legal support when it comes to complex family circumstances. Finding the wrong representation can complicate matters and make them even worse. When you think it is the right time to seek legal counsel, get in touch with us at Reyes & Schroeder Associates, P.C. We are a trustworthy law firm that can preserve your best interests and sustain your argument in the court of law.