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5 Questions To Ask a Family Law Attorney

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Written by John Marmolejo

Have you searched “family lawyer near me” in Google so many times that you feel overwhelmed? The information available online can clarify some questions and make others feel more confused.

Knowing what to ask and the answers you should receive can relieve the anxiety and replace it with confidence.

If you understand five critical factors, you have a strong start toward hiring the best family law attorney in the area.

People just like yourself across the country find that these questions help them find the answers they need to move forward. Continue reading to take advantage of the same benefits!

Have You Seen a Similar Case Recently?

There’s no detail too small in family law, so you want someone who understands how the legal system views your case. Legal precedents can make or break your case, which only makes having an expert on your side even more valuable. If you ask this question and don’t receive a detailed answer, it may be time to talk to some new attorneys.

For example, some lawyers may have more experience with custody cases than others. Under current Ohio legislation, the court has a responsibility to determine the reasoning abilities of a child. If their wishes are the crux of your case, you want an attorney who understands how the law will reach its conclusion.

It’s worth taking your time to ask follow-up questions about the cases a family law attorney shares with you. They may have tried hundreds of divorce or custody cases, but you want to know they have experience with your situation in particular.

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How Do You Communicate with Clients?

When you want to know how to find a family law attorney, this is a fantastic place to start. Law firms often consist of a handful of attorneys and a small army of associates and paralegals. Depending on the number and intensity of cases they handle each year, their communication style may vary.

Waiting for a response can become frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be if you set expectations from the beginning. A law firm typically has its policies about responding to emails and phone calls especially. Consider asking these additional qualifying questions for better clarity:

  • How do you prefer to communicate?
  • Do you guarantee response times?
  • When do you need to communicate more or less during the process?

If someone isn’t giving you the confidence that you need to move forward, your goals and their culture may not be a match. With that said, you should keep an open mind. A busy lawyer is likely a good one, and some delays in replies pale in comparison to losing in family court.

What Is Your Fee Structure?

While some attorneys remain steadfast in asking for a retainer and billing as services become rendered, others have a willingness to work on contingency. This means that they agree to shepherd your case to its conclusion for a share of the amounts awarded by the court. States have laws that limit these types of fees, but a good rule of thumb is 1/3 of the financial benefits gained by their client.

According to the American Bar Association, you only pay contingency fees if your lawyer is successful. Therefore, if they offer to take your case on this basis, they should have a high degree of confidence in recovering the costs for their time.

Depending on your circumstances, you may find yourself able to find an attorney willing to work on contingency. Dig into the details that they provide and ensure that you feel comfortable with them before agreeing to representation.

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What are the Options?

It’s crucial to understand how a lawyer sees your case going forward after the initial consultation. Their answers should feel grounded in experience, realistic, and in alignment with your expectations.

A legal strategy depends on your cooperation as well. You need to understand your level of involvement, especially during critical phases of a divorce or custody battle. Depending on what becomes negotiated or your lawyer’s recommendations, some tough decisions may lay ahead.

As an example, Ohio law states that alimony can either become temporary or permanent. If you understand the differences between contributions toward income between yourself and a spouse, your options can change. Depending on the battles you want to fight, you may want to accept one type of spousal support over another.

What Are Your Expectations for My Case?

You only want to hear candid answers after asking this type of question. Only the best family lawyers will give you their unadulterated opinion of what may happen next. This should include examples that support the conclusions they share with you in their offices.

You’re also looking for how far an attorney is willing to take your case. As far as family law is concerned, you can have a nasty series of fights ahead. You’ll want to have a supreme amount of confidence that you have the best representation possible for the situation.

Use this time to ask about any big roadblocks as well. If major issues exist in your case, you may need to coordinate with a lawyer on how to respond. Planning early and often may become the best way to defend parental rights, for example, that come under assault.

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Do You Need a Family Law Attorney?

Here’s another critical question: what is family law? Depending on your circumstances, it’s the best way to defend your rights during a divorce or custody battle.

If you feel like you need a family law attorney, it’s worth your time to schedule a consultation. Now that you have five critical questions to ask, now is the best time to get started.

For more information about this topic, visit www.hartley-lawoffice.com

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John Marmolejo

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