Are you looking for a family lawyer? It could be that you need representation in a property settlement, child adoption or custody suit. Below is a short guide on the various considerations to make when hiring a family lawyer.
Qualifications and Specialties
Your lawyer must be licenced to practice in your area. Postgraduate diplomas, certificates of excellence and affiliation with professional organisations are indications that you will receive quality services.
Some lawyers specialise in specific aspects of family law. For instance, if you want to adopt a child from another country, you will deal with multiple government agencies. Working with a specialised lawyer can significantly ease the process. A specialised lawyer will help manage your expectations. For instance, it will be challenging to adopt a child if you do not have a stable source of income.
Conduct some internet research to determine the lawyer's reputation. Some of your concerns should include the following:
- Does the lawyer meet client deadlines? How does he or she communicate with clients?
- Has the lawyer been accused of misconduct in the past?
- What is the lawyer's winning history?
- Does the layer have a professional indemnity cover? This ensures you receive compensation for financial losses caused by errors.
Law Firm Versus Individual
You might find yourself in a dilemma of whether to deal with a law firm or an individual lawyer. The primary advantage of a law firm is that they have many lawyers. As such, they may resolve your case in a short time. Individual lawyers provide personalised services to their clients.
Ask your lawyer if he or she will outsource legal services. This happens when the lawyer cannot handle all your work single-handedly. For instance, if you have a large estate, the lawyer may need some assistance during property settlement proceedings.
Pricing and Contract
Does the lawyer have a fixed charge or does he or she charge per hour? Check what services the lawyer will charge. For instance, some lawyers will give the first consultation free. Further, they may not charge you for phone calls. Inquire when and how you should make your payments. If you have a limited budget, you could seek pro bono services.
What happens if you are dissatisfied with the lawyer's work? He or she should allow you to terminate your agreement without any penalties. The lawyer should have a reasonable method of dealing with client conflicts. For instance, he or she may propose mediation or arbitration.
Choosing a family lawyer is easy with the above tips. Examine the lawyer's qualifications, specialty, reputation and pricing, as well as the terms of the contract.Share