Are you and your ex constantly fighting over potential custody arrangements?
Have you and your fiance decided that you’d like to draw up a prenuptial agreement before you tie the knot?
Perhaps you’re even struggling with siblings and other surviving family members when dividing an estate or interpreting a will.
If you’re currently dealing with any of the above situations, now is the right time to start researching local family lawyers. With so many options and recommendations from well-meaning friends and extended family members, however, it can be tough to choose the right family lawyer.
Read on to learn how to find the best family law attorney for your situation.
1. Get to Know Their Experience
Of course, you’ll want to ensure that the family law attorneys you’re thinking of hiring are licensed to practice within your state and are members of the American Bar Association.
You may even want to contact the law school they attended to verify that they were, in fact, a student there.
But in order to find the best family law attorney, that’s far from the only thing you need to do.
You should also ask how long they’ve been in practice and, most importantly, how many times they’ve handled cases similar to your own. For example, if you’re looking for a family lawyer to handle the division of a grandparent’s estate, don’t hire a legal professional who mainly works in child custody.
Make sure you ask them about their wins and losses in court, as well — and the kinds of settlements and agreements they were able to broker for their clients.
Speak with past clients directly whenever possible.
2. Ask About Your Case Options
The best family law attorney will also be able to give you several options for how they plan to approach your case.
They’ll also walk you through your different legal options.
For example, you may be able to avoid going to trial altogether if your attorney can help you with family law mediation.
You may need to serve your ex with divorce papers, cut off contact with family members until the will contestation has ended, or even collect evidence of abuse or wrongdoing.
3. Understand Their Fee Structure
Family law attorneys have a variety of different fee structures, and you need to find a professional with a rate and billing process that works for you.
Ask if they charge an hourly rate, a retainer fee, or even a contingency fee.
Are there additional costs, such as filing fees, fees for expert witnesses (psychologists, handwriting analysts, etc.) and court costs? How often will you be billed, and when is the full payment due?
Knowing the costs before you sign anything can save both you and your attorney serious potential headaches later.
Finding the Best Family Law Attorney Takes Time
Although you may be tempted to choose the first result that pops up when you type “best family lawyer near me” into Google, if you truly want top-tier legal help, you need to take the time to do research.
The best family law attorney will be an excellent communicator, have lots of experience, help you to understand your options, and make you feel at ease.
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