7 Questions to Ask Your Potential Family Lawyer
Did you know that less than half of all Americans have a will? Most of the people who do are older than 65. However, if you have children or want to ensure your affairs are in order, proper estate planning is responsible. Sorting out your will is only one of many reasons you may need a family lawyer in your life.
If you feel your marriage is heading towards divorce or you have already decided to split up, you will also need a family law expert to walk you through the process. You may need to navigate child custody and child support issues.
Hiring a lawyer can be a stressful process. Here are seven questions you can ask when weighing up family lawyer options:
1) What Experience Do You Have?
When hiring an attorney, you want to ensure that they specialize in the area of family law you require. It is always a good idea to ask your potential lawyer about their degrees and education history.
You can also ask how much time they spend on a specific topic. For example, if you are dealing with a child custody issue, it is best to find a lawyer who has been involved in many cases.
They will have seen all the possible twists and turns in this aspect of family law and be better placed to advise you.
2) Who Will Be Handling My Case?
When looking at family lawyer options, it is essential to understand if you are hiring one person or just the practice. Ask the attorney if they will be dedicated to your case or if you will be dealing with different people.
It is not unusual for a team to be involved, so getting to know their names and building a relationship will make you feel more comfortable.
3) How Do Your Fees Work?
It is vital to get a clear picture of how your family lawyer will charge you for their services. Will there be a retainer, and how much is the hourly fee?
Sometimes there may be a flat fee for a specific service. It is best to try and get an accurate estimate of how much the whole process will cost you.
4) What Outcome Can I Expect?
If you are going through a contentious divorce or child custody case, there may not be a clear outcome. Ask your lawyer their opinion on what is a realistic result.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You should prize honesty over false promises, so you know what to expect.
5) How Long Will My Case Take?
Whether setting up a will, getting a divorce, or dealing with a criminal charge, the timeline of your case can vary wildly. Perhaps your family lawyer has a heavy caseload.
When choosing a lawyer, asking for a realistic timeline will give you a clear idea of what you are facing.
6) What Weaknesses Can You See in My Case?
Ask your potential lawyer what they think the weak points will be. This will give you time to adjust your expectations and your approach.
Maybe there is an issue you have not thought of or a problem you have time to resolve before going to court.
7) How Will We Stay in Touch?
Once you choose your family lawyer and walk out of their office, you will want an easy way to get in touch. Do they prefer phone calls or email? Who will reach out to you?
It is best to pin this down so you don’t feel lost when something important crops up.
Choosing a Family Lawyer
Sometimes you need a lawyer for a simple administrative matter. However, often you need a family lawyer because you are navigating a painful process that requires a compassionate and personal approach.
At Crosson Richettti & Daigle, we prioritize building a relationship with you and your family.
Contact us to discuss your family law needs.