When you need a family law attorney, it can be a very stressful and often confusing time. Emotions are running high, but there are important decisions that need to be made. A family law attorney leads as your advocate through a divorce, child custody issues, paternity issues, and more. Knowing what questions to ask before hiring a family law attorney will help to reduce your stress and give you the confidence you need to make the right decisions during this difficult time.
Hiring A Family Law Attorney: What to Ask
Here are 10 top questions to ask before hiring a family law attorney:
- What is Your Experience With Cases Similar to Mine?
Working with a family law attorney who has helped clients in similar situations will provide you with the skilled legal services you need. Not all family law cases are alike, and hiring someone who has experience with your type of case is important. Whether child support needs to be negotiated or perhaps a restraining order is required, be direct and honest during the consultation so you can see if the lawyer is a good fit.
- How Long Have You Been a Family Law Attorney?
Relevancy matters and years of experience matters too. With a seasoned family law attorney on your side, you can feel comfortable that they will be able to maneuver different challenges that may come up regarding your situation. The attorney will also be highly skilled at negotiations and litigation, when and if the need arises.
- How Do You Prefer to Communicate With Your Clients?
Knowing ahead of time how your family law attorney handles communications is really important. What are their policies and standard operating procedures for response times to emails and phone calls? Do they have a preferred form of communication? Make sure you are comfortable with how they communicate before hiring a family law attorney.
- What is the Strategy You Would Have for My Case?
During an initial consultation, when you are considering hiring a family law attorney, it is also prudent to ask about strategy. Typically, most attorneys will not give specific legal advice before you hire them, but they can let you know how they will approach the case. Strategies will differ from case to case depending on the situation, whether you need legal assistance with paternity, divorce, child custody, child support, or other family law needs.
- What Will My Role Be in the Case?
Understanding what will be expected of you and what the family law attorney plans to take care of regarding your case will also set the stage for an efficient and productive working relationship with the family law attorney. From communications with different parties to obtaining or submitting documentation, ask about the scope of their work and what role you will take in the case.
- What Laws Are Applicable to My Case?
This question will give you a good idea of the attorney’s comprehension of family law complexity and how to apply them to your case in particular. This will also help you prepare for what the case will involve. Various Florida laws deal with child custody, paternity, child support, and other areas of the law that all parties involved in a divorce or other family legal issues should be aware of throughout the duration of a case.
- What Questions Should I Ask About Child Custody?
The issues around child custody are complicated and can be very emotional. Having the relevant facts will help you understand each step in the process of your case and help you deal with your emotions as well. Some of the top questions you should ask a family law attorney about child custody include: What does the court take into account when awarding child custody? What documentation will I need to provide? Who makes the critical decisions for the child (education, schooling, etc.) What does the court mean by the “best interest of the child?”
- What Questions Should I Ask a Divorce Lawyer?
When you are looking for a lawyer during a divorce, you want to make sure your voice is heard, and your rights are being strongly advocated for in your case. Some of the top questions you should ask a family law attorney about divorce include: What papers do I need to start a divorce in Florida? What is your strategy to execute my goals? What are the varying aspects that need to be resolved before the judge issues a dissolution of marriage?
- What is Involved in a Paternity Action?
There are specific steps that need to be taken when you decide to begin a paternity action. The decision can be a difficult one, so it is crucial to consult with a family law attorney to ensure the steps are completed appropriately and that the courts will consider your rights.
- What are the Benefits of Hiring a Family Law Attorney?
This question will give you a great idea of how the family law attorney works, how strongly they advocate for your rights, and the full advantages of hiring them for your case. You will also get a good understanding of how they communicate and how committed they are to serving their clients well.
Our family law attorneys at Golden Key Law Group serve clients throughout St. Petersburg, FL, and Pinellas County, and know-how challenging this experience can be. We also know how to provide clients with the legal help they need in these circumstances. Contact us today for a free consultation.