Choosing the right family law lawyer

Choosing the right family law lawyer is a very important decision when seeking a divorce. This person will need to become familiar with intimate details of your life, will fight for your rights and provide you with advice. A personal interview with an attorney, preferably in person, is a good start.

You should consider a number of factors when making your decision. Experience and knowledge of family law and the court rules are important criteria for selecting an attorney. An experienced family law attorney will be familiar with the law, its trends, and the legal system.

Here are some questions you should ask of a potential family law attorney:

o How many years have you practiced law?
o How much of your practice is in family law? (Not every lawyer practices an exclusive area of law).
o Do you frequently handle cases such as mine that may involve a complicating factor (domestic violence, mental health challenges, high asset)?
o Are you a member in good standing with the state bar association?
o Have you served as a faculty member of any continuing education programs in areas of family law?
o Do you have experience in other areas of law, such as real estate, probate, personal injury?
o Have you edited or published any articles in the area of family law?
o What experience have you had in mediating family law cases?

An attorney will have you consider and sign a legal representation agreement, and ask for a cash advance deposit (sometimes known as a retainer). Under most circumstances, you will be charged a fee on an hourly basis. More experienced attorneys may charge more per hour, but the long term financial and other benefits may outweigh the cost.