How to Find a Family Law Attorney Best Suited to Your Needs

Jeremy AtwoodFamily Law

family law attorney

Family law is a branch of civil law that deals with legal issues between family members. It often defines the legal relationships of parents, children, spouses, domestic partners, and guardians. In other words, family law addresses legal complications like divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, and paternity, among others.

You will need to hire a competent family law attorney when filing for a divorce, legal separation, child custody, visitation rights, child support, and alimony. However, finding a family law attorney best suited to your needs is easier said than done.

You want a lawyer who understands your needs and handles your case with personal attention. It could mean the difference between winning or losing your case.

Here are a few tips to help you find a family law attorney. 

1. Determine Your Legal Needs First

Family law covers everything from marriage to child custody. You can hire a family law attorney for the following legal actions.

  • Draw up a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
  • File for divorce, annulment, or legal separation.
  • Modify your divorce agreement.
  • File for child custody and support.
  • Apply for an adoption.

As you can see, you will need to know what specialization your situation calls for. For example, if you are filing for a divorce, you will need to hire a family lawyer specializing in divorce and legal separation.

2. Consider Your Location

Next, you would want to consider your location. In most cases, you will bring a lawsuit in the county where you (the plaintiff) live. So, you are better off searching for a family law attorney in that county.

Let’s say you live in Davis County, Utah. Search for a family law attorney in Davis County, Utah. Start your search online. The American Bar Associate maintains a database of lawyers. You can also check your state’s bar association website. Make a list of possible family law lawyers as soon as you begin your search.

You can also ask your friends, family, or colleagues for a referral. They may recommend a lawyer that best fits your needs. Once you have shortlisted the family law lawyers, you will need to perform a background check (of sorts), which brings us to the next point.

3. Check the Past Experience and Performance

You can easily find many family law lawyers in your area. But you must do your due diligence before hiring an attorney. One of the first things you have to consider is their experience. Find out how long the attorney has been practicing family law. An experienced family law attorney can handle your case efficiently from day one.

Moreover, check the testimonials and reviews. Look at the attorney’s website and third-party review sites, such as Yelp and Avvo. The lawyer should have a mix of good and bad reviews. It’s common for spouses and parents to blame the opposition lawyers. However, if all the reviews are negative or just one line, that’s not a good sign.

4. Check Their Availability

While you need a successful family law attorney, you also need someone with a balanced caseload. If your lawyer is too busy, your case is likely to suffer. However, a good attorney will leave no stone unturned when addressing the challenges in your case. They will also have to flexibility to answer any questions or doubts you have. Ask the lawyer about their present caseload. Moreover, be upfront about who will handle your case. And yes, make sure you can reach your attorney by phone, email, and text.

5. Communication Skills

Professional family law attorneys should be able to communicate effectively with their clients. Communication is critical because it shapes the way your case will turn out. The lawyer should be willing to answer your questions. They should communicate proactively about the progress of your case. You can gauge this skill during the initial consultation.

6. Documentation Skills

Your lawyer should be skilled at legal paperwork. They will take care of everything from filing your case to drafting your legal defense and filling out legal forms. Don’t underestimate the importance of paperwork in your family law case.

It is necessary to get the paperwork right from the get-go because:

  • In many cases, the decision will be made based on your paperwork.
  • Filing the wrong paperwork or delaying it can negatively affect the outcome of your case.
  • Accurate and complete paperwork can advocate your case should you decide to change your lawyers midway.

7. Ask The Right Questions

Although busy, most family law lawyers offer a free initial consultation. This is the right time to ask a few questions to help you make an informed choice.

  • Have you handled cases similar to mine? This question will answer if the lawyer has experience handling lawsuits like yours.
  • Can you provide me with any references? Remember, a good family law attorney will never hesitate to share references. However, they can’t give out this information without the consent of their clients. So, it might take a while.
  • Do you have malpractice insurance? A professional lawyer will always carry malpractice insurance. If a lawyer doesn’t, you may want to consider other options.
  • How will you communicate with me? As mentioned before, your lawyer should be available by email, phone, or text.
  • Who should I take to in case of emergency/updates? Your lawyer should give you a primary contact. It can be their assistant or another lawyer. This is okay as long as you know you can get in touch with a person handling your case.
  • How do I pay you? This question will help you understand the overall fee structure. Most lawyer charge by the hour. However, some might charge a one-time fee. Get it clarified before hiring the lawyer.

8. Make Your Final Decision

After talking to the potential lawyers, you will need to make your final decision. When making this decision, you have to keep the following in mind.

  • Choose a family law attorney who makes you feel at ease.
  • Work with an attorney who has handled cases similar to yours.
  • Hire a family lawyer that fits your budget. You don’t necessarily have to break the bank to hire a competent and experienced attorney.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are signing a prenuptial agreement or filing for a divorce, you must find an experienced family law attorney. Hiring a good attorney can help you assert your legal rights efficiently. Sound legal advice can help turn the decision in your favor. Hopefully, these tips will help kickstart your search for a lawyer.

Contact Jeremy Atwood Law, LLC. if you are looking for a family law attorney in Utah. We are experts in family law with a successful track record. For more information, contact us today!