The decision to go into family law came at a rather young age for me when I was in eighth grade. I decided that I wanted to go to law school. I went to college, and I decided that I wanted to do something that was going to help families as I matured on my own through college life. Of course, once I did get to law school that is when I started concentrating my studies on the area of practicing family law. I have been working towards that goal of helping families ever since.
What Are The Common Types Of Family Law Cases That You Handle?
Probably the most common types of family law cases would be primarily custody matters. Custody cases can arise in probably three to four different areas, for example, divorce; legitimation cases; and modifications actions. I am also a guardian ad litem, a court-appointed attorney to represent the best interest of children, which means I investigate custody cases and help Judges make the final determination of what parenting scheduled would best serve the child. Approximately eighty percent of my practice is made up of taking care of custody matters either through divorces, legitimation, modification, guardian ad litem work, and even paternity cases.
What is the Main Misconception Clients may have About Working With A Family Law Attorney?
One mistake routinely made by clients is forming the belief that hiring the most expensive attorney guarantees them their desired outcome. Do not assume the most expensive attorney is going to give you the best results, or the most expensive attorney is the better attorney or the best attorney. Often times, you may retain a law firm because of a name, only to learn that your case is not being handled by that attorney, but by an associate attorney with far less experience. The larger firms are also less likely to work with the clients regarding the monthly invoice.
Selecting an attorney is probably the most important step in any family law case. That selection should be made very carefully by asking a lot of questions, including, but not limited to, who will actually be handling the case; what is his/her experience; what is their success rate in the county in which the case will be heard; what are the billing/payment procedures for the firm.
What Are The Main Reasons That People Should Hire An Attorney For A Divorce Case?
Some of the main reasons you should hire an experienced attorney in a divorce case is because the courts will tell you that even though you show up pro se, meaning you do not have an attorney, you are still going to be held to the same standards as if you were an attorney. This means you have to follow the rules of procedures, rules of evidence, and you have to follow protocol, which is set by each individual court. Sometimes the protocol changes from judge to judge, and you just simply will not know how to handle yourself without an attorney to guide you, and assure that procedurally things are in place, and are correctly administered. Secondly, divorce is a very emotional time for most everyone.
I would fear that a client who shows up pro se, their decisions are made out of emotional baggage as opposed to being reasonable. When you hire an attorney, you are hiring that attorney who has a clear picture of how things might go in court, based on his or her expertise, and experience in court. So that is why I would say that before you take on the siege of handling your own divorce, even if it is uncontested, you should really consult with an experienced family attorney. If that is possible, hire an attorney to make sure that all the T’s are crossed, and all the I’s are dotted. Otherwise, it could be disastrous.
What Can Someone Do In Preparation Of A Divorce Or A Separation?
For preparation in a divorce or separation case, do your homework, but I would say the first thing that you should do is try to figure out what are your goals. Figure out what you need in order to get yourself through this divorce, without being emotionally or financially devastated. If you need an expert in order to help you identify those goals, such as a financial advisor, therapist, or a child psychologist, tap into those experts. First, figure out what you need, and what you want for your post-divorce life. Secondly, I would say do your homework when it comes to selecting an attorney, because selecting your attorney may mean whether or not you have a successful divorce.