The clients that family lawyers represent are usually trying to reshape their lives or hold onto custody of their children. No matter what situation the family is in, this is a big job.
But just as family lawyers have a big task ahead of them, you as the client also have a momentous undertaking: choosing which lawyer to represent you. Different attorneys offer different advantages and disadvantages, including their level of experience and knowledge of the Florida court system. Consider the following while choosing a family lawyer:
Your Options. Choosing a family lawyer isn’t too different from deciding on a new car or home: you need to do some shopping first. Grab recommendations from friends, do some research online, and find a few different lawyers that you see potentially representing you in court. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to do deeper research and interview each potential attorney.
Testimonials. Not all Florida family lawyers are the same. That’s why it’s important to do some shopping. One of the best resources you have while researching family lawyers are the clients they have already worked with. Seek out testimonials online or through the law firm to find out what clients have to say. This can provide you with great insight into how an attorney works, his or her style in the courtroom, and their success in different areas of family law.
Experience. In any situation, it is important to hire someone who has plenty of experience in his or her particular field. With family lawyers, it is important to dig a little deeper.
Family law encompasses a wide spectrum of situations, including divorce, domestic violence, and establishing paternity. In today’s society, the typical “family” isn’t always so typical. When you are searching for the right family attorney, think about your family and your situation. How often has this lawyer dealt with situations that are similar to yours? How often has this lawyer dealt with families – traditional or non-traditional – that are similar to yours?
Your Goals and Values. Before you consult with family attorneys, know what you want and how you’re willing to go about it. Be realistic with your expectations, but make sure you and your potential lawyer are on a similar page about your goals and how you will try and achieve them in and out of court.
Ask your lawyer about their family values as well. What does the law firm fight for? What do they believe about the structure of the family? What is their stance on different parenting issues? Make sure their values line up with yours to ensure future agreements on your goals.
Red Flags. If you are receiving mail or e-mails from attorneys promising to get you cash quick, that might be a red flag. How did the law firm get your address anyway? There are a few different red flags to look out for, both while researching lawyers and throughout the first stages of working with your attorney:
- Hard to get a hold of/get a response from
- Unaware of recent changes to divorce and family law in Florida
- Lacking compassion (your lawyer is not your therapist, but lawyers should treat each client as their most important)
- Billing for services/time that you did not agree upon
Note: Free consultations or case reviews are not a red flag. Attorneys want to take the proper amount of time to discuss the case they may take on with potential clients. This discussion is just as much for the attorney’s benefit as it is for the client’s, so most attorneys offer free phone consultations or communication before taking on a case and turning on the clock.
Cost. A family lawyer can help you get the money that you deserve, but this comes with its own price. Consider the cost of hiring different family attorneys while conducting your search. Be sure to ask questions about how you are charged (flat fees vs. hourly rates) and what billing and payments will look like before, during, and after your settlement is reached.
Why Choose Florida Family Law Clinic?
It is possible to find an experienced Florida family lawyer at a low cost. Consider Florida Family Law Clinic while you are doing your research: our law firm is dedicated to the interests of your family and the well-being of your children after your settlement and for the rest of your lives.
Our experiences range to fit a wide variety of families: we have handled cases that include divorce settlements, paternity, domestic violence, post-divorce litigation, and more. Want to see if we’re a good fit for you? We offer a free 20 minute consultation – call us today!