Family lawyers are very common, but what should you know about hiring one? This guide lists 5 things to know about hiring a family law attorney.
According to the latest data, there are more than 63,000 family law practices in the United States. Are you thinking about hiring a family attorney to help you with your case?
Before you go ahead and recruit the services of the first person you find online, remember that there are some crucial things to consider when hiring a family law attorney. Listed below are five of the most important factors to keep in mind during your search.
1. What Does a Family Lawyer Do?
What is family law? What do family lawyers do? These are common questions, so don’t feel bad if you’re still unsure about whether or not a family attorney is an appropriate person to assist with your case.
Put simply, family lawyers take on cases that have to do with family-related problems. Some common issues that these lawyers handle include the following:
- Division of marital property
- Child custody
- Child support
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
In some cases, family lawyers will also handle cases related to domestic violence, adoption, guardianship, juvenile delinquency, and child abuse. If your case involves any of these matters, there’s a good chance a family lawyer can help you.
2. Benefits of Hiring a Family Lawyer
There are lots of reasons why you might want to hire a family lawyer. Even if your situation is fairly amicable (your spouse isn’t objecting to any of your requests during the divorce process, for example), having a family attorney on your side is still a good idea.
Here are some specific benefits they bring to the table:
Knowledge of Family Law
Family lawyers, of course, have extensive knowledge of all matters related to family law. They can explain situations to you and ensure you’re being treated fairly and aren’t being taken advantage of.
Knowledge of Procedural Issues
Family lawyers also have plenty of experience of everything from going through court proceedings to drafting documents and meeting with other lawyers. They can walk you through these processes, help you know what to expect, and help you feel more confident.
A family lawyer can look at your case from an objective standpoint and let you know, in their professional opinion, where you stand. They can also provide you with honest feedback to help you decide how to proceed.
Dealing with any kind of family law issue can be stressful and emotionally taxing. Having a lawyer on your side can help to take some of the weight off of your shoulders, though. You’ll be able to rest easy knowing you have a professional on your side who understands the way things work and is advocating for you.
3. Does Hiring a Lawyer Increase Your Chances of Winning?
This isn’t necessarily a “yes or no” question. Your chances of winning your case and getting the outcome you desire depend on a lot of factors, including the overall strength of your case, the amount of time your lawyer has to prepare, and more.
In general, though, you’ll have a stronger case and a greater chance of seeing your desired outcome if you hire a lawyer. Having a lawyer on your side shows the other party or parties involved that you’re serious and that you’re not to be taken advantage of. This works in your favor more often than not.
4. How Much Do Family Lawyers Charge?
The cost of hiring a family lawyer will also depend on a lot of factors. These factors include your location, the depth of your case, and the amount of time it takes to get your case wrapped up.
Many family lawyers charge by the hour for their services. Rates can range anywhere from around $85 an hour to several hundred dollars per hour. In most cases, the lawyer will also require a retainer, which is like a deposit, before they get started.
The good news is that there are options for you even if you don’t have a lot of money at your disposal. Some family lawyers will offer services at a discounted rate or might even work pro bono if you explain your case. Others might be willing to set up a payment plan for you to make their services more affordable.
Don’t let a lack of funds stop you from seeking a lawyer’s assistance. There are programs in place to help you even if you’re short on cash. You might have to do a bit more digging to find the right lawyer, but don’t give up hope altogether.
5. Not All Family Lawyers Are Created Equal
As any family law guide will tell you, not all family lawyers are created equal. When you starting trying to find a family lawyer, it’s important to know what to look for. Otherwise, you could end up hiring someone who’s not equipped to handle your case.
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when comparing different lawyers:
- Where did they go to school?
- How long have they been out of school and practicing law?
- Do they specialize in a specific type of family law (adoption, custody, child support, etc.)?
- Can they provide you with references?
- What do their references have to say about them?
- How much do they charge for their services?
- Do they have any programs in place to help clients who might not be able to afford their services?
Pay attention to your gut feeling, too. Do you feel comfortable talking to this lawyer? Do they seem like they have your best interests in mind?
At the end of the day, go with your gut. Your intuition won’t lead you astray and will help you ensure you’re working with the right person for the job.
Find a Great Family Law Attorney Today
Now that you know more about what a family law attorney can do for you, are you ready to go ahead and hire one? Keep the information outlined above in mind (especially the tips on finding a qualified lawyer) and you’ll have no trouble bringing on someone who can help you win.
Do you want to learn more about family lawyers or family law in general? If so, we have plenty of resources on our site that can help you stay informed. Check them out today.