Tips for Hiring a Family Law Attorney in Atlanta
Family legal matters are especially sensitive, can be complicated, and highly stressful. There’s a lot at stake, and you must ensure that the needs of your family members are met. Legal issues involving close relationships have unique complications that must be resolved, and hiring a family law attorney is the best way to handle them. When you work with an experienced attorney you’re ensuring that the rights of your family are protected
In instances such as a divorce, there may be property divisions, custody issues, child support, visitation rights, spousal support, and other complex matters to sort out. Your Atlanta family law attorney can guide you through the legal process, helping your family reach a solution that’s fair and enables you to move forward.
Selecting the correct family lawyer can be challenging, but there are a few ways to make the process simpler. We’ve compiled some information below to help you simplify the decision-making process:
What is Family Law, and What Does a Family Law Attorney Do?
The majority of family law practices represent people in cases of divorce, child custody, property division, spousal support. Family law attorneys typically also help with other family legal matters. A family law attorney may specialize in helping people in one or more areas of family legal needs, such as:
- Wills & Trusts
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Child custody and child support
- Child visitation schedules
- Separation agreements
- Changes in family assets
- Federal estate tax changes
- Estate planning
Why Should I Hire a Family Law Attorney?
Hiring a lawyer who specializes in family law can be a game changer in a custody dispute, property dispute, guardianship case, or other high-stakes conflict. A qualified family law attorney can handle many important processes, such as legal requirements, formalizing agreements, and resolving disputes. A good family lawyer can save you and your family time, stress and a lot of money.
How Do I Select the Best Family Law Attorney in Atlanta?
Do Some Research Before You Hire a Family Lawyer.
Before you schedule a consultation with a family law attorney, do a little research to be sure that the lawyer you’re meeting with aligns with your needs. Ask the attorney about these concerns:
- Case Assessment: See how likely it is that your case will be resolved via a settlement or through litigation. Find out what complications the attorney can foresee emerging in your case.
- Focus of Legal Practice: Find out if the lawyer exclusively practices family law, or if it’s just one of many areas of his or her practice.
- Amount of Experience: Find out how much experience your lawyer has, and what types of cases they work on. You’ll want to know if your lawyer knows how to handle your case.
- Who will Work on Your Case: Ask who specifically will be representing you in your case, and what the potential costs are. Find out who will be communicating with you, and how long you should expect to wait for responses to your voicemails and emails.
- Rates and Other Costs: Prior to scheduling a meeting, ask the lawyer’s hourly rate, billing frequency, and possible payment plans. The first consultation with a family law attorney typically takes an hour or two, depending on the type of case you have and the lawyer’s methods. See if you’ll be charged for an initial consultation, and ask what other fees you can expect to incur throughout the case.
- Retainer Agreement: The Retainer Agreement provides you with a written outline of the services that you are hiring the attorney to do for you, the amount of the deposit you must pay, the fees you’ll be charged, and the billing frequency. Make sure you understand the agreement before you sign it. Take the document with you and think about it before you sign. Do not sign it under a feeling of pressure in the attorney’s office.
Evaluate Your Prospective Family Attorney.
You and your family law attorney will be in heavy communication as you move forward with your case. You’ll need to have a collaborative relationship, and you need to know that you’re able to communicate and work well with your attorney. Consider these questions before making the decision on who to hire:
- Does the lawyer listen to your concerns and seem committed to achieving the best possible outcome for your case? Will the attorney conducting the consultation handle your case personally, or pass it to an associate?
- Does the attorney seem confident that he or she can meet your needs in representing you? Does the practice have sufficient resources to efficiently manage your case?
- Does the lawyer seem to be promising too much, telling you only what you want to hear, or making guarantees that seem unreasonable?
- Is the attorney a specialist in family law, or a general practitioner who only occasionally handles a divorce or other family law matter?
- Is the attorney offering what seems to be an unusually cheap estimate of the total cost of handling your case?
- Is the attorney an uncontested divorce lawyer?
Obtain a Lawyer Promptly.
Getting legal advice in a timely manner can save a lot of time and energy down the road. It can help you avoid making premature or uninformed decisions that can be against your interests and reduce your chances of effectively settling your case. The longer you wait, the more quickly you’ll have to move on the back end. Your lawyer’s responsibility is to protect your rights and ensure that you meet legal requirements in the Georgia civil court system, so it’s important that you start communicating with them as soon as possible.
Daniele Johnson & Associates, Family Law Atlanta GA
Daniele Johnson works with some of the most talented family law attorneys in Atlanta. With a focus on divorce, child custody, visitation plans, and other matters of family law, we help our clients settle difficult family legal issues. For more information about family law attorneys, or to discuss the details of your situation, call Daniele Johnson & Associates at (770) 984-5311, to schedule a consultation.