When you need an Orlando family law attorney, how do you choose? It’s not enough to do an Internet search and choose the first lawyer you find. Your attorney will be your advocate through divorce, adoption or other family law matters, and you want to be sure the person you hire is the right one for you. Here are some tips for finding a family law attorney when you need one:
1. Create a List
Jump online and conduct a search for attorneys in your area. You want a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. You can easily compile a list by searching for “family law attorney in Orlando.”
2. Start Researching
Once you have created your list, it’s time to talk to family and friends. Reach out to your loved ones and ask if they have used a local family law attorney. Look online for reviews. You can also search your state’s bar association website to discover if any of the lawyers on your list have been disciplined for anything.
3. Go to Consultations
Once you have created a short list of attorneys based on your research, schedule a few consultations. Attorneys often offer these at no cost. This means you won’t have to spend any money in your attempt to find the right attorney for your needs.
Your consultation will help you choose an attorney. Remember that this person is someone who you are going to be developing a relationship with. You’ve must feel comfortable with them. There are several questions you should ask of any attorney you have a consultation with.
DID YOU KNOW: Florida has the seventh highest divorce rate in the country.
Questions to Ask Your Orlando Family Law Attorney
There are any number of questions you should ask your attorney, based on your unique circumstances. However, these are some of the most important you can ask:
1. Do you concentrate in cases like mine?
Family law is wide-ranging and encompasses several areas. If you are getting a divorce, you may not want an attorney who concentrates the majority of their time on adoption cases and vice versa. Don’t be afraid to ask an attorney what types of cases they take on most often. The more cases like yours, the more likely they can represent you with expertise.
2. Will there be a schedule?
Ask if there is a specific schedule that your case will follow. You should know what you can reasonably expect as your case proceeds. Will the attorney attempt to work out a deal with the other side or do they prefer to go to trial? Find out how long you can expect the entire process to take. This may be important to you and you have a right to know.
3. How will you communicate with me?
There are some people that hire an attorney and expect them to handle everything with very little contact. There are others who want to be told of every letter and phone call made regarding their case. Decide what your expectations for communication are and find an attorney who is able to meet them. Most attorneys will be able to tell you if you can expect an email or phone call, and when they will happen.
4. What is your fee schedule?
Attorneys are not told how they must charge, so different attorneys have different fee schedules. Some attorneys expect a retainer up front, and charge you along the way. Some will charge you per correspondence or official document, while others include these costs in their fee for service. Ask each attorney not only how much they will charge you, but how they will charge you.
Considerations After Your Consultation
Once you have had the opportunity to have your questions answered, sit down and really think about your experiences with each attorney you spoke to. Here are some considerations when narrowing down your choices.
1. Was I comfortable?
Not all people mesh well. Everyone’s personality is different. You have to find an attorney you are comfortable with. Think about this after your appointments. If there was an attorney you just don’t think you can work well with or one that gave you that “off” feeling in your gut, cross them off your list of prospects.
2. Were My Questions Answered?
If there was an attorney you didn’t feel answered your questions directly, hurried you along, or didn’t provide the information you were looking for, go ahead and cross them off the list. The attorney you choose should be willing to provide you with the information you are looking for.
3. Did the Attorney Seem Interested?
You don’t want an attorney who seemed disinterested in your case or was trying to get you out the door. Your attorney should know that even though they have experience, you don’t. An attorney should be interested enough in your case to ask you questions and get further details. They should act as your advisor.
Choosing an Orlando family law attorney is not difficult but needs to be done carefully. This person will be representing your interests in court and it’s a serious responsibility. When you select the right lawyer for you, it will take some of the stress and burden off your shoulders.
DID YOU KNOW: A mediated, uncontested divorce can often be settled in as little as four to five months.
Speak to an Orlando Family Law Attorney Today
If you need assistance with a matter of family law, reach out to our office and schedule a case evaluation. We will speak with you regarding your needs and tell you how we can best help you. Call today or reach out to us online at your convenience.