What to Look for in a Family Law Attorney
Family law is civil, not criminal law. Just as the words “family law” suggest family law focuses on issues needing professional legal advice and representation relating to family concerns such as child support, parental timesharing, divorce, alimony, distribution of marital assets and liabilities, pre and post-marital agreements, bankruptcy, mediation, modifications of child court orders, and adoption. In other words, Family Law concerns legal matters that directly affect a family and its members where there are no criminal allegations. In most instances, even though a person can represent themselves on most legal family matters trying to be your own attorney is risky. Laws and rules surrounding family legal issues are constantly changing, as is the paperwork required to take a case through the court system. Even something minor such as a pre or post-marital agreement, when not done in a specific manner deemed proper by the court, will not be accepted by a judge if the document should be needed in a divorce.
Assuming you want the best outcome for your family’s legal issue, you will want to look for a Family Law Attorney to help guide you through your case and represent you in court should your mediation fail. It is best to take your time when choosing the right Family Law Attorney for your specific needs. Plan to consider at least three candidates before making your final decision. Here are some suggestions for what to look for in a Family Law Attorney:
- It is a good idea to check with family and friends about their experiences with a Family Law Attorney. You want the attorney who will represent you to have a good reputation and be able to provide successful outcomes.
- You can go online and read the websites of several local Family Law Attorneys to see how they describe themselves and what their areas of practice are within Family Law. Not all Family Law Attorneys take the same type of cases; for example, some will do adoptions, and some do not. You can also check the attorney’s rating out of five stars and read recommendations and complaints of former clients.
- How many years of active law practice does the attorney you are considering have? Often, a new attorney may not have years of experience but will have the desire to prove themselves and may work harder at seeing your case succeed successfully. Too, a newer attorney will most likely have the latest laws and guidelines in mind to use on your behalf. And, you may get more bang for your buck with a new, less experienced attorney.
- Does the Family Law attorney offer a free initial consultation over the phone or in-office? In-office is best as you will get a firsthand opportunity to assess the attorney’s personality and if you could work together. You can also ask general questions such as, how does divorce work in your state? Or what are the guidelines for child support in your state?
- Is the attorney compassionate and caring about your needs? You should feel you are more than a dollar sign and that the attorney cares about you as a person.
- In most states, mediation is required before a court date can be set, so it is important to determine the attorney’s feelings about working toward a successful mediation outcome. Unfortunately, some attorneys discourage a successful mediation outcome as they will then receive less legal fees because if mediation fails, the case must then be taken to court, usually, a long, drawn out, and expensive process.
To combine the attributes of a Family Law Attorney, you want someone experienced enough to show competence, someone with a positive attitude toward mediation, someone with a caring and compassionate personality, someone who offers a free initial consultation, and hopefully someone your family and friends recommend. Remember, take your time and shop for the right Family Law Attorney for you. If you live in the Florida counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough or Orange, or Washington DC or New York, board-certified Family Law Attorney Grant Gisondo has the expertise and caring to represent clients with their family law concerns.
For over a decade, Attorney Gisondo has provided guidance and a successful road to good outcomes. To learn more about Attorney Gisondo, visit his website at http://gisondolaw.com. You can also call his office at (561) 530-4568 with questions and to make an appointment for a free, initial, in-office consultation.