Fathers often feel inherently disadvantaged in the family court systems throughout the United States. However, it is essential for any father to understand and assert their rights in all family court proceedings, whether they face divorce, child custody determination, or need help to modify a standing family court order. One of the most important rights all fathers in family court must exercise is their right to legal representation.
If you need a family law attorney to represent you, it’s essential to know how to find the attorney that’s right for you. First, think about the situation you face and determine what type of attorney would be best suited for handling your case. The following questions can potentially help you narrow your list to the attorneys most likely to provide the level of legal representation you expect to approach your case with confidence.
Ask About the Attorney’s Experience
Experience is arguably the most crucial quality in a family law attorney. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, you want to be sure that they can manage the more challenging aspects of your case. While many new attorneys are talented and enthusiastic about representing their clients in complex cases, there is no substitute for years of experience in family law. Consider a few essential questions you may want to ask a potential attorney regarding their experience:
- “How long have you practiced law?” It’s a good idea to choose an attorney with at least several years of experience practicing law.
- “How much experience do you have in family law?” Family law is a unique part of the civil law system, so choosing an attorney with solid experience dealing with family law cases is vital.
- “Have you handled cases in the past that are similar to mine?” Family law attorneys typically manage many different cases during their careers, but the common threads among these cases allow them to handle a diverse range of challenges on behalf of their clients.
- “What can you tell me about your outcomes in those prior cases?” The right attorney should be able to produce straightforward evidence of a successful track record in previous cases.
The attorney’s answers to these questions should provide you with a clearer picture of their experience level. Also, remember that while experience is a principal factor to consider when choosing an attorney, you should not completely disregard newer attorneys. It’s possible to find a fresh family law attorney who is ideally suited to handling your unique case.
Ask About the Attorney’s Legal Strategy
A good attorney knows there is no one-size-fits-all approach to legal representation that will work for every client they represent. Experienced family law attorneys take time to get to know each client to provide personalized and detail-oriented legal representation. Consider asking a potential attorney a few critical questions about their legal strategy:
- “Do you recommend alternative dispute resolution for my divorce?” Alternative dispute resolution can provide a swift and effective alternative to family law litigation. A good family law lawyer will help a client understand the potential benefits of alternative dispute resolution.
- “What timetable to expect for my case?” Experienced attorneys can typically provide their clients with reasonable estimates concerning the time required to complete their cases. This information can help you determine how much your case will ultimately cost in legal fees.
- “What do you think are my best available options for my family law matter?” Family law matters can be emotional issues, and it can be difficult for some clients to remain objective about their situations. Therefore, the attorney should help a prospective client understand their various options for approaching the case at hand.
- “What unique details do you notice about my case?” No two family law matters are precisely the same. The right attorney can quickly identify any outlier variables that can influence the course of a case.
The answers to these questions should help you understand the attorney’s legal strategy in more explicit detail. A good attorney should be deeply interested in obtaining as much information as they can about you and your situation so they can provide personalized legal counsel.
Ask the Attorney for Their Honest Opinions
An initial consultation with a prospective attorney is an excellent opportunity for you to determine whether the attorney is the right fit for your case. It is also an opportunity for the attorney to make crucial interpretations about your legal situation. Therefore, ask the attorney for their opinions concerning essential elements of your family law matter:
- “What type of outcome do you expect in my case?” While it’s not reasonable to expect an attorney to accurately predict the outcome of any given case, experienced family law attorneys will provide their honest opinions of the client’s situation.
- “What do you think my best available strategies are in this situation?” There could be multiple options for approaching a family law case, and a good attorney will encourage their client to choose the path that suits their best interests.
- “What happens if I do not get acceptable results from the case resolution?” Family law provides several options for resolving issues with standing family court orders. The attorney should provide ongoing support after your case concludes if you need to file post-judgment motions.
- “Can you provide additional support beyond the case at hand?” Family law often pertains to deeply personal and complex issues, and good attorneys develop professional contacts with support services and other resources that can provide valuable assistance to their clients.
An attorney’s answers to these questions can help the client determine what experience they can expect from working with the attorney. Consider developing a list of questions to ask a potential attorney and add several more questions that are more specific to your unique situation.
Finding the right attorney to represent you in a family court case can seem like an incredible challenge but taking advantage of consultation offers and interviewing potential attorneys in your area is the best way to find the right attorney to handle your case. Reach out to an experienced family law attorney for fathers as soon as possible to start working on your case with confidence.