Family law is a blanket term that can encompass all forms of family- and domestic-related matters. You might seek the help of family law attorneys when dealing with marriage and domestic partnerships, adoption, child abuse and, especially, divorce. With separation and divorce cases, it is never a simple, cut-and-dry situation; in fact, it could require months or even years of intense litigation to fully resolve. With all that in mind, here are five tips to remember as you work to find a family lawyer to help tackle your divorce case.
1. Know what is yours and what is not.
One of the hardest matters to decide in a divorce case is who gets what when it comes to shared property. A good idea would be to take inventory of all your personal belongings that are specifically yours, and that includes items received as gifts and, especially, family heirlooms. Take photographs of these items for when you find a family lawyer that can handle your specific case.
2. There is no such thing as an easy divorce.
You may run across something called a “divorce kit” in your searches to find a family lawyer. Such items do not exist, and you will always need an attorney to assist you in your legal matters when dealing with divorce. No matter what, you will need to either appear in court with your attorney or have him or her present with you during all mediation sessions with your separating partner.
3. Always get an estimate.
There is no hiding the fact that any type of litigation is costly, especially divorce. When you are looking to find an attorney, shop around a bit before you settle on one. How to find a lawyer depends quite a bit on comparing prices and rates, and any good family lawyer should be able to provide you up front with an estimate. Before you sign any kind of retainer agreement, know what it is going to cost you.
4. Take notes on your marriage.
It might sound silly, but how to find a divorce lawyer depends so highly upon what information you are willing to provide about the marriage. You have to think back to particular instances that might help you in court and be able to tell your lawyer about them in full. When you finally find a family lawyer that seems like he or she can provide the best representation, lock it down.
5. Mediate when you can.
As mentioned before, divorce can turn into an ugly beast of a process, but it does not have to. When you find a family lawyer that can help, try your hand at the structured process of mediation with your attorney, your separating partner, and his or her attorney. Judges will likely recommend this measure anyway. You want your divorce to go down on your terms, after all, not the terms of some messy court battle.
When it comes time to find a family lawyer, you have to opt for experience. Those that have been through it tend to know the best routes to a good outcome. Good luck! Learn more about this topic here.