Family law cases can leave you feeling spent emotionally and financially. Although there’s likely always going to be some hardship to overcome when it comes to matters of law and family, having the right lawyer at your side can make a huge difference in terms of how pleasant the experience is, and how much emotional turmoil you’re left navigating after the fact.
You want to find someone who is willing to go beyond what an attorney that is just representing you would do. You need to know you’re found someone you can trust and who feels like a counsellor and confident, in addition to just being your lawyer.
1. Lots of experience
Regardless of what the issue you’re facing is, matters of family law always require someone with lots of experience, ideally with cases concerning a similar situation to your own. There simply too many things to consider for an amateur to be able to handle. In addition to technical complications like calculating alimony or child support, you also want to know you’ve found someone who has the experience and confidence to stand up to a judge in court, or to help you cope with the stress of what you’re going through. Therefore, you want to hire an attorney who can convincingly attest to the fact that they have experience in all of these areas and can help you navigate the process.
2. The personal touch
The client-attorney relationship is an intimate one, especially when it comes to family law. Due to the fact that your attorney will be privy to all of your most personal stories and documents, potentially including financial and medical records, you need to feel from the beginning that this is a person you trust and feel comfortable with. Even if you sense something that you can’t quite put your finger on, it is better to look elsewhere. Interpersonal conflicts will only get worse if the case doesn’t go as planned, and you need to feel, at all times, that you’re on the same team.
3. A willingness to go that extra mile
Chances are, whatever it is that you’re hiring a family lawyer to help you with, it is likely to be one of the most significant and emotionally challenging battles of your life. When you’re initially discussing the details of your case and situation, it is crucial that you feel they understand the intricacies of your family and what has contributed to the current situation. If you don’t think they fully understand your case, how can they do their best work to represent your interests?
4. A passion for the job
Speaking of someone able to represent your interests, you also want to find someone who you feel takes sincere fulfillment in doing the job they do. Family law can be a lucrative career choice, and although there is nothing wrong with expecting to be well compensated for a job well done, you want to find a lawyer that has chosen family law because their truly care about the well being clients and have a vested interest in helping families resolve complicated situations.
5. Full transparency
Last but certainly not least, you want to feel from the get-go that your attorney is conducting all business above board. It is an unfortunate fact that many lawyers have intentionally complicated billing practices, in which small fees start accumulating or they drag things out for longer than necessary. Find a lawyer who is transparent when it comes to billing practices and is upfront about the potential costs associated with your case. Although it is important to remember that legal counsel is never cheap, you should always feel that you are being treated fairly and with respect.