Things to Consider When Hiring a Family Law Lawyer

A family law lawyer specializes in matters relating to issues that surround the family. These can include marriage, divorce, child support, spousal alimony, guardianship, adoption, domestic violence and child abuse.

Choosing a family law lawyer is an important decision, especially when dealing with child abuse and domestic violence. These legal issues are highly-charged events that require attorneys who are well-versed in domestic relations law and child advocacy.

Divorce can also be an emotionally-volatile arena that requires lawyers who can help both parties work through their differences while obtaining a fair settlement. When children are involved it is important to work with attorneys who will fight for the rights of minor children to ensure adequate child support is provided.

Issues related to family law often require clients to work closely with their chosen lawyer. It is best to determine what qualities you prefer before interviewing attorneys. Do you prefer a male or female lawyer? Do you require an aggressive attorney or one who remains calm? Do you need a lawyer with years of experience of would a recent law school graduate suffice?

It can be helpful to create a list of questions, concerns, and the desired outcome. Organize all records pertaining to the legal issue. For example, divorce lawyers will require financial records, real estate deeds, automobile titles, current and previous years’ tax returns, and information surrounding minor children.

It can be beneficial to interview three or more attorneys to determine which is best suited for your needs. Most law firms offer gratis meet-and-greet consultations while others assess a minimal fee. When arranging appointments inquire about initial consultation fees and what documents should be brought to the meeting.

During the meeting it is important to determine cost estimates. Family law lawyers normally require clients to provide an upfront retainer. This typically ranges between 25- and 50-percent of expected costs.

Legal fees are usually assessed at an hourly rate, but some cases are charged as a flat fee. Cases requiring extensive research and court appearances are typically billed hourly. Cases involving minimal work, such as a legal name change, are billed at a flat rate.

Law firms also assess backend fees to cover the cost of phone consultations, court filing fees, copying and faxing documents, and postage fees. Some attorneys deduct these costs from the retainer, while others remit monthly invoices.

The majority of family law lawyers require payment at the time services are rendered. However, some will allow clients to develop a payment plan. It is important to determine payment schedules to ensure you can comply. When payment plans are allowed, it is smart to obtain the plan in writing so that all parties understand payment amounts and due dates.

Individuals who require services from a family law lawyer, but cannot afford legal fees may qualify for pro bono services. Much depends on earned income and circumstances surrounding the case.

If possible, obtain family law lawyer referrals from family or friends. This can minimize time spent searching for or consulting with attorneys. Those unable to obtain referrals can utilize the Internet or telephone directories to locate law firms.

Another source for locating reputable attorneys is the American Bar Association website at abanet.org. The ABA does not offer recommendations, but instead publish a list of nationwide family law lawyers who are in good standing with the organization.

Divorce Lawyer: Key to Divorce

Divorce refers to the dissolution or the legal end of a marriage. Every state has its own legal requirements governing when a divorce may be granted. These legal requirements may include a residency requirement, grounds or a reason for the divorce, among others. The grounds for divorce may vary from being fault-based and no-fault based. All these requirements vary from state to state. Certain exceptions like ‘Irreconcilable Differences’ and ‘Irretrievable Breakdown’ are common no-fault grounds for divorce in almost all states. Your divorce could be the most important financial decision in life, as well as one of the most nerve wrecking. In such a circumstance, the key person who can see you through this is a divorce lawyer.The divorce lawyer helps you in making extremely important financial and emotional decisions like child custody, property divisions etc. You must choose a lawyer well versed and specializing in Family Law.You can look for a good lawyer by asking around, consulting your friends, relatives and acquaintances. A divorce lawyer with references will be more helpful than the one who is completely unknown to you and all people around. When you first meet the lawyer, give all case facts. The fee quoted by the person will be a rough approximate as the amount of legal work involved is not very clear. Usually, they charge by the hour, and a retainer fee as an advance payment may be desired by the lawyer. You are at liberty to interview a few lawyers before choosing one to represent you in court.To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to enquire from the lawyers the following facts:o The relevant experience he/she has in Family Law and number of years of practice in this field.

o Steps involved in the divorce process as well as expected time frame and legalities involved.
o Filing fee and the fee that any additional legal assistants employed will ask for.
o Inquire about the Retainer Agreement policy of the lawyer/firm.
o Billing cycle of the lawyer.A good lawyer will answer all queries, and will try to address any concerns that you may have about legal implications or your case in general.A good divorce lawyer:o Will always be prepared for all your hearings.
o Will know exactly what your expectation from the case is.
o Will not be able to win all hearings.
o May not be able to answer your calls 24*7*365.Once you and your spouse start the proceedings, do not sign any paper for your partner without express knowledge of your divorce lawyer. Litigations and negotiations are little subjective so ask your lawyer about his/her policy in this matter.A good divorce lawyer is invaluable to your case, so you should choose one carefully. Also, once your case starts, do not change lawyers unless it is absolutely necessary as this may also harm your case. In case you are looking to change divorce lawyers, make sure that you get all information from the previous divorce lawyer such as who is the judge, necessary papers etc, so a smooth transition is possible. Once you place your trust in a lawyer, do it completely and assist him/her. After all, it is your own life.

Prevent Lawyer Burn Out Syndrome Through Meditation

As an attorney who practiced in several fields of law in Florida and had my own Law Firm, I know that the law is an unforgiving profession and that the burn out syndrome is right around the corner for many of us.

Being a lawyer requires a commitment of tireless dedication and perfection. Society places a standard of extremely high expectations on lawyers, which in turn feeds our innate tendency to be perfectionists and competitive people. It’s that combination of our tendency to be perfectionists, society’s expectations, and the daily grind with clients, deadlines, judges, and staff that can catapult just about anyone into incredible amounts of stress, feelings of helplessness and depression. It’s no wonder that so many lawyers suffer from burnout syndrome!

It’s easy to see why the field of law has such a high percentage of drug and alcohol users who likely use these substances to shield themselves from their daily stress levels.

The amount of dedication necessary to succeed in this profession has led many lawyers to getting burned out and not performing at their highest efficiency levels. It also affects their social interactions with their staff, clients, judges, friends, and family members. I personally know more divorced lawyers than I would like to admit.

It really is a shame because we just never learned how to balance our professional lives with our personal lives. For some reason, they just never taught us that in school. As a result, we bring the stress in the workplace with us in our briefcase to open it up at home and continue experiencing it instead of focusing on our family during the few waking hours that we are at home and away from the office!

The good news is there is a solution to this problem… and the solution is free.

Don’t worry; it does not require health insurance, medicine, seeing a psychologist, or even leaving your house or office for that matter. It’s simple and it works; its meditation. Meditation is not a religion, it is not hypnosis, and it does not require you to be part of any sort of religion or culture or religious at all.

Take a moment and discover how meditation can help you prevent lawyer burn out syndrome, enable you to enjoy your profession, become more efficient at work, more emotionally and mentally present at home, and just happier in general.