How to Hire a Family Law Attorney

best family law attorneyHiring the best family law attorney for your situation requires asking the right questions. You’ll want to setup an in-person consultation with any lawyer you are considering hiring. The purpose of this initial meeting is for the lawyer to understand the basic outlines of what type of case or legal problem you have, and for him to explain how he might be able to help. You shouldn’t expect one initial meeting with a lawyer to solve all your legal problems, just like one visit to a doctor would not immediately solve all your medical problems. Rather, your first meeting is chance to decide whether this lawyer is the best one for you to work with over the long term. There are a few questions you should ask to help determine whether he or she is the best lawyer for your situation:

Have You Done This Before?

Don’t hire a business transactions lawyer to handle your divorce or child custody case. Look for a lawyer who regularly handles family law cases in the city or county where your case will be held. Our firm represents clients with cases in Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, and anywhere on the Virginia Peninsula. You must select a lawyer who regularly practices in the local courts where your case will be heard. Most lawyers limit their practice to a geographic area consisting of just a few cities. The advantage here is that the lawyer knows those judges and how their courts operate. Every Virginia city and county is just a little different in the details of how family cases proceed through the courts.

How Can I Help My Own Case?

Don’t expect to just hire a lawyer and then forget about your case. Any good lawyer will give you some very specific instructions and advice. You can choose not to follow your attorney’s advice, but you do that at your own peril. People who want to accomplish their goals in family cases will do exactly what their lawyer advises them to do, and will not do anything their lawyer tells them not to do. Following your lawyer’s advice will dramatically increase your chances of success in your legal situation. Hiring a lawyer isn’t a magic wand to solve all your problems, it is the first step toward getting your case resolved. But much more work will be required from both you and your new lawyer in order to strive for a successful outcome.

How Will I Pay?

For some types of cases, a lawyer might set a “flat fee”. In this scenario, you would pay one price for the lawyer to perform a specific set of tasks for you. In other cases, a lawyer might quote an “hourly fee”. In this case, the lawyer will have you pay a certain amount of money into a trust account, and then he will work at an hourly rate and deduct the hourly fees from the amount you paid into your trust account. If your case will be an hourly fee case, the lawyer should be able to estimate costs for each task as  you work together on the case. Whatever payment method you agree on, you should get your agreement in writing.

Finding the right lawyer means finding someone you’ll be comfortable working with and who will be honest with you even if the truth is hard to hear. If you want to talk about your situation, we’re ready. Contact us today for a consultation on your family law case.