Family law can be incredibly complex and involves a variety of cases, such as adoption, prenuptial agreements, divorce, custody, and much more. Not every lawyer specializes in every type of family law or has the experience needed to win your particular case. Read on to learn ten important questions to ask your family law attorney to help you find the best representation for your court case.

“How Much Experience Do You Have in Family Law?”

Experience matters, so don’t be afraid to ask important and direct questions about your attorney’s experience and success rate. An unskilled, inflexible attorney or a poor negotiator won’t last in the business for very long.

A lawyer’s overall track record can tell you a lot about how good they are and how well-equipped they are to handle your case. This isn’t to say that every new or inexperienced attorney is a poor one. However, if your case is complex, you’ll want an accomplished lawyer that knows the ins and outs of family law rather than a lawyer who’s new to the field.

“How Much Experience Do You Have With Similar Cases?”

While knowing their overall experience is important, knowing their field of expertise is too. As many branches of family law exist, and it’s rare to find an expert in every single one of them. That’s why one of your first questions should be about the attorney’s experience and success rate with cases similar to yours and not just family law in general. If you’re looking to get a divorce from a spouse, you’ll want to hire an expert in that field rather than someone whose expertise is in adoption law or prenuptial agreements.

“What’s Your Preferred Method of Communication?”

It’s likely that you’ll want consistent updates regarding your case, which is why it’s important to discuss with your attorney how they prefer to keep in communication. Whether it be through fax, email, text, or by phone, everyone needs to be on the same page. It’s also important to question how long they typically take to respond to messages, as some lawyers may take a day or two to respond.

“Who Will Be Working on My Case?”

The attorney you speak with on the phone may not necessarily be the attorney working on your case. Depending on how complex your case is, they made need a team comprised of other associates, paralegals, or possibly an investigator. Either way, it’s important to get to know who’s working on your case and what their experience is like in addition to inquiring about your attorney.

“Can You Give Me an Estimate of the Overall Cost?”

Your attorney should always be upfront, transparent, and honest about what their fees are—and if they aren’t, this is a red flag. While every case is unique and will have different needs, they should at least be able to provide you with an estimate or range. But be aware that there may be additional costs, especially if they need to hire other professionals to handle your case. You should also inquire about your payment options and how they prefer to receive their payments.

“Can My Issue Be Resolved Out of Court?”

While many cases will require you to resolve issues in court, not every single one relevant to your case needs to be. Judges have to be present to dissolve a marriage, formalize an adoption, and create restraining orders, but there are instances where a judge can simply sign off on an agreement without having to be there. For example, if both parties agree on a divorce settlement, then you don’t need to put extra money, time, and stress into going before a judge and spending time in court. A family attorney will be able to tell you whether resolving out of court is feasible or not.

“What Is Your Approach To My Case?”

While forming an exact plan of action can take some time, most lawyers have a general idea of how they’ll handle your case and what legal actions they may need to take. When you ask them what their legal game plan is, they should be able to give you some idea of an achievable goal and the steps it will take to reach this goal. Mainly, this question is to give you a better idea of the legal process instead of leaving you in the dark.

“What Are the Realistic Expectations of My Case?”

In truth, no lawyer will be able to give you a single answer or prediction as to how your case will resolve or end. However, a knowledgeable one will be able to give you a range of realistic possibilities—not just tell you what you want to hear. A lawyer that makes guarantees or gives you false promises isn’t giving you the truth, as there are no real guarantees.

“What Are Your Expectations of Me as a Client?”

On some level, handling your case will be a joint effort. While how much you’re involved will depend on the nature of the case, but at the very least, you should be able to have some input. They should be able to give you an idea of how available you need to be and how much work they’ll be on your end, if any. Being on the same page about the requirements and goals of your case will help you work together more efficiently, as some cases might need to be a team effort.

“What Can I Do To Prepare for My Case?”

A good attorney will give you information about the legal process, what you need to do, and what you shouldn’t do. For example, you don’t want to behave in a way that can be used against you later on down the line, and a lawyer can tell you more about what those guidelines are. Depending on the specifics, you may need to limit your use of social media for a while or be careful with who you talk about case details.

The most valuable lesson you can take from these important questions to ask is that your family law attorney should be fully transparent and honest with you. If you’re looking for a straightforward and experienced attorney that you can rely on, North Legal has you covered. We can put you in contact with one of your family attorneys in Amarillo, Texas, and get you the legal representation you need for your particular case.

10 Important Questions To Ask Your Family Law Attorney