Compared to all other types of legal practices, family law is perhaps the most sensitive and difficult to practice. The reason for this is because family law is dealing with issues such as divorce, legitimacy, child abuse, adoption, annulments, inheritance and family property disputes. This is why, when choosing a family law lawyer it is important to choose somebody who knows how to be sensitive when dealing with these types of unpleasant issues. A family lawyer who is good at his or her job will be able to minimize the pain when dealing with issues such as child custody and divorce issues.
Family lawyers are needed in different situations including divorce. Such situations are very stressful and if you are not careful, you may have a very hard time during such times. There is a need to have a professional with a deep understanding of the law on your side so as to handle different situations that you may not know how to handle completely. This can make the process much easier for you and the whole family.
When you are looking for a family lawyer, there are some qualities that should be outstanding. These will help you know whether the person you have chosen to represent you is capable of handling himself and the case at hand. Some important qualities include:
- Communication: the lawyer should be able to communicate and communicate well. This is very critical. The lawyer needs to be able to communicate in an easy and clear manner. When you have a lawyer, it is necessary that you are able to voice your expectations and concerns. It is the job of the lawyer to explain things clearly to you as well as those that have to do with the case and to give you expectations that are realistic. The lawyer should also be able to communicate with other parties to the case. Good communication leads to effective negotiations keeping costs down. A good communicator will also be very helpful should the case go to court.
- Experience and skills: while it is important to have an attorney to represent you, it is important that he is able to represent you well. So as to do this, skills are required. A case such a divorce can touch on many aspects of family life as we know it. This may include career, retirement, finances and so on. The lawyer should be experienced and very knowledgeable so as to make sure that all your interests are protected. Experience in family law cases is an added advantage especially if such a case has a lot of similarities with yours.
- Availability: when you are searching for a representative, make sure it is a person that is available in all the important points of your case. If he can't be present all the time, he should have support available to cover when he has other matters to attend to. The lawyer should avail himself to respond to questions in a good and timely way, he should work with timeframes so as to reassure you of his dedication. He shouldn't be too held up with pother cases so as to be able to pay attention to yours.
- Composure: your family lawyer should be able to maintain his composure at all times. This isn't only about staying focused and calm, but also exhibiting a lot of self-control when in the courtroom or when dealing with other lawyers, even if he feels frustrated, your interests need to represent very strongly but he shouldn't take things too personally when the turn of events isn't completely to his favor.
- Support and resources: lawyers have other clients too, and it is not possible that they will always be available to answer questions every time something comes up. It helps when the lawyer has a team working with him so that even emergencies can be handled swiftly.
Apart from dispensing legal advice family law lawyers will have additional responsibilities such as offering emotional support in an impartial and sympathetic way. A good family lawyer will win the trust of the client by listening to needs of the client. It is a careful balance between maintaining a professional attitude and keeping a personal touch with client.
Lawyer's fees will depend on what type of case the lawyer is working on. Some lawyers will charge an hourly fee and others will charge only after the case has been filed and a settlement is reached. For divorce cases it will depend on various situations such as, if there is child custody issues or property sharing issues. Most family law lawyers will charge by the hour for the simple reason that it is just easier. Hourly rates are influenced by two different situations, the region and county where the case will be tried. In extreme cases where the client is not financially stable enough to afford lawyers fees the court will grant what is known as Pendente Lite. A Pendente Lite is in a way a type of grant to help take care of low income clients while the court proceedings are ongoing.
The following are some useful tips to keep in mind when it comes time to choose a family law lawyer.
Experience: always try and get a lawyer who has a lot of experience. Only an experienced lawyer will know all of the subtle nuances of family law.
Location & Fee: Everybody would like to use the best lawyer available in town. Unfortunately the best ones will cost a good deal to hire. Location of the lawyer's office is also important as you may have to visit them on a regular basis.
Reputation: It is important to find out what the lawyers reputation is amongst both clients and other lawyers. This will help give you a good idea of the lawyer's level of competency.