Learn How to Find the Best OC divorce lawyer near You
When you are looking for a family law attorney, you’ll want the best one you can find who is close to your home. The attorney you choose to hire can make a world of difference in your case, whether it’s a divorce, a child custody dispute, or a domestic violence issue. Family law can be emotional, stressful, and life changing for anyone involved.
So, how do you go about finding the best family law attorney in your area?
You’ll have to determine your needs, ask for referrals, and look for certain qualities in the attorneys you’re considering.
Which Legal Issues can an OC Family Law Attorney Help With?
Family law is a broad area of the law that includes domestic relations and family-related legal issues. It can include the following:
• Marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships
• Divorce, dissolution of marriage, the division of property
• Spousal support, partner support, family support
• Legal separation
• Child custody and visitation, child abduction
• Child support
• Parental rights
• Grandparent visitation
• Domestic violence, domestic violence restraining orders
• Child abuse
• Other legal issues regarding family
If you have a specific issue within family law, it is always best to find an attorney with special training or experience dealing with that area of family law. While every family lawyer has some experience with various aspects of family law, the best family lawyer in your area is probably the one with the most experience in the area of law that pertains to your legal issue.
To Find a CA Family Lawyer, Ask Friends and Neighbors
If you know that friends, family, neighbors, or local professionals have worked with family lawyers in the past, reach out to them now and ask for referrals. If an attorney has had a positive impact on someone you know, it is likely that the attorney is worth discussing your case with, even if you don’t end up hiring that lawyer.
Do you use a lawyer for any other aspect of your life? Perhaps you have an estate planning lawyer, or you have worked with a criminal attorney or a personal injury lawyer in the past. These attorneys are not the best choice for a family law issue, but they may know attorneys who do work in family law that may be able to help.
The Orange County Bar Association and the California Bar Association both offer lists of attorneys in your area if you would rather use professional referrals than ask around.
The internet is also a great resource, but it may be more difficult to obtain honest reviews of these attorneys until you meet with them in person.
Interview Potential OC Family Lawyers in Person
Many lawyers offer free in person or over the phone interviews. It is always in your best interest to take advantage of these interviews so that you can get to know the lawyer and his or her payment options, while the lawyer gets an understanding of your case before either of you decides to work together.
While you are in the initial consultation, you’ll want to look for certain qualities before deciding to hire any lawyer.
Compatibility of Personalities
Your attorney will be helping you through what could be one of the most stressful times of your life. The outcome of a family law issue can also be life changing for you and your family. Adoptions, divorces, domestic violence and more will affect the people in your family.
Make sure that your attorney is someone whom you can trust to help you through this difficult time. If you don’t like your lawyer, you may have a hard time working with him or her throughout the legal process.
Communication, Openness and Clarity
Attorneys should always let you know what is going on with your case. Family lawyers should not make decisions without you, and they should make sure that you are fully informed before you make any decisions.
A lawyer should not speak to you in legalese, but should be able to explain clearly what is going on with your case, how you might proceed with it, potential costs, and potential bumps in the case in your initial interview.
Experience in Your Area
Make sure that you ask your lawyer about his or her previous experience with cases like yours, how they turned out, anything the family lawyer might do differently in your case, and whether he or she has any specific credentials or expertise that might benefit your case. Remember that finding the best lawyer simply means finding the one that is right for your case.
Ask Questions and Answer Questions
An initial consultation should not an interview; both parties should be asking questions. The attorney should both explain his or her price and payment methods, and ask questions about your case. You should have a list of questions to ask your potential attorney as well.
• Can you explain the process my case might take?
• What are the potential costs that I could incur?
• Will I be working directly with a lawyer, or will I be working with associates and paralegals?
• How will I be able to reach you?
• This is my budget. Can you work with it?
• How will my case be handled if you are on vacation or ill?
• Do you know the judge that might handle my case?
• Am I likely to get what I want out of this case?
Budget and Payment Options
Don’t forget to explain your budget to your attorney, and don’t hire one that cannot work within it. Depending on your budget, you may choose to hire an attorney for part of your case and to take on some of the responsibility yourself, or you may choose to hire an attorney for the entire case. Regardless, an attorney should be willing to work with you.