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Top 3 Tips for the Best Family Law Attorney – Client Relationship

Posted by Jenny R. Stevens | Aug 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Hiring an attorney to handle your family law matter may be one of the most important decisions you make throughout the life of the case. In order to develop a the best family law attorney – client relationship, here are three key factors to remember:

Find an attorney who not only has a good reputation, but with whom you feel comfortable communicating.

In this age of the internet, there are countless ways to find lawyers in your community. Some examples include, your local bar association's website; Avvo; FindLaw; Justia; or simply Google ‘Family Law Attorney in {Your City Name}' to find local attorney websites. However many studies still show that most folks use the recommendations of trusted family and friends when choosing which attorney to hire.  Once you locate an attorney, be sure to prepare a list of facts and questions about your case prior to the first meeting in order to make the initial consultation as productive as possible. Some questions you may want to consider asking the lawyer include: fees; availability; attitudes about litigation versus mediation; experience in family law; and electronic access policies. The more you know about how your case will be handled, the better the chances you will be satisfied with your attorney throughout the process.

Once you have hired an attorney, listen to and heed his or her advice.

More than likely you have been required to make a large retainer deposit in order to start your case.  When you fail to trust your attorney's advice or fail to follow through with getting information to your attorney in a timely manner, you create more work for your attorney, thus spending more money than is necessary to obtain the desired results.

Communication between you and your attorney is essential during the divorce process.

Don't be afraid to call your attorney with an important matter. Depending on the information, an email might be the most effective route to get an answer. Discuss your concerns and options. Your attorney can also help you determine if any of the alternative dispute resolution processes would be in your best interest. Keeping communication lines open is a responsibility shared byboth you and your attorney. Try to keep emotions out of your communications, whether it's by telephone, fax, email, letter or message through your attorney's staff, because emotions can often block effective problem-solving. Most important of all, do not lie, intentionally mislead your lawyer, or withhold information. It will not only hurt your relationship with your lawyer, but also hurt your case. Honest and efficient communications between you and your lawyer will make the divorce process run more smoothly and enable a successful outcome in your case.

Source: “Hand in Hand with Your Lawyer” by Daniel L. Bray, published in the ABA's Family Advocate.

About the Author

Jenny R. Stevens

Jenny has been certified as a Guardian ad Litem for many years, and she finds her work representing children in private custody litigation to be some of the most rewarding work in the practice of law. These cases, along with her own personal experience with divorce, inspired her to practice family law in a way which focuses not only on the legal aspect of family law, but also on the impact these events have on the individuals involved. Being a wife, mother and stepmother herself, Jenny understands the compassion and sensitivity needed to help guide families through these transitions.

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