Ask the questions. Evaluate the answers. When you need help with a family law matter, you want to find the lawyer who is the right fit for you and the one who can bring your case to a successful conclusion. Here are 5 traits you want in that attorney.
1. Experience. But, the right experience. You want the lawyer to have handled cases like yours and have a track record of success. It’s important that the attorney be expert in the laws of your state. A divorce in Georgia can be very different than a divorce in Arizona, for example. Ask the attorney about the cases he has handled that are like yours and ask how long he has been practicing in your state. It’s important.
2. Patience. Family issues are emotional issues. You want a lawyer who will be patient with you. You may ask the same question more than once; you may become upset during a meeting. You want a family lawyer who will be understanding. You also want the attorney to be able to represent you without losing his temper. You need a lawyer who can mediate differences and one who understands your feelings. Both take patience.
3. Honesty. The lawyer is speaking on your behalf. You don’t want to have your case harmed because the attorney has been less than honest or has led you to believe your case will be a slam dunk when it’s actually going to be very difficult. You want a lawyer who is honest about his experience, who is honest about what he believes the eventual outcome will be and honest about the strategies that he thinks will help you succeed.
4. Objectivity. You want your attorney to be able to step back and look at your case with a neutral eye. You want that lawyer to be able to evaluate your options and give you an expert opinion of how the case may end. The analysis of your case should include an objective look at the court. What is the most frequent outcome in cases like your?. Family law is often not cut and dried or black and white. You need a lawyer who has the objectivity to give you all your options.
5. Diligence and Communication. You want to know that the attorney will put in the necessary time to create success for you. And, just as important, you need the attorney to communicate with you on a regular basis. If you are shuffled off to a secretary, if your calls go unanswered or if you’re told the “assistant” is working on the issue, it may be a sign that you need to hold the lawyer up to your expectations. Ask these questions before you get started. Will the lawyer answer your calls? Will he be the person who communicates with you? How is his office organized? Will he be working on the case personally?
Experience, compassion, patience and that ability to be fair are all among the traits that make a family law attorney the right lawyer to you. Most will offer a free “get acquainted” session. Take advantage of that time and be sure to ask the questions that will assure you that this is the right family lawyer for you and your case.