First and foremost, in family law matters especially, you should find a lawyer with whom you are comfortable. You may need to interview a number of lawyers to find the right one for you. Your family law attorney should be someone knowledgeable about family law, and should be caring.
Good referral sources:
Friends, family, non-divorce lawyers, local bar associations, and nationwide listing books.
Compatibility, reputation, experience, fees, responsiveness, negotiating skills and style.
Following are just a few basic, frequently asked questions relating to this topic.
- Do I really need lawyer?
Not necessarily, but if you have minor children, or assets you and your spouse can’t divide agreeably, you are probably better off hiring a lawyer. Keep in mind that if you represent yourself, the Court will still expect you to present your case properly.
- How can I keep my legal fees down?
The better you and your spouse can communicate, and the less disagreements you have about dividing your marital estate, the lower your fees should be. You can help keep your fees lower by doing the “homework” your lawyer assigns you, completely and as independently as possible.
- If my spouse and I try mediation, do I still need a lawyer?
Yes. Mediation is a useful out of court settlement procedure, however, the mediaotr must remain neutral and cannot give either party legal advice. Most mediators encourage clients to have their own attorney review agreements reached at mediation and draft the final orders.