A family law attorney can be invaluable when navigating through any family law situation. There are so many questions that can arise in these situations, “How do I file for divorce?” “When can I modify my child support?” “How can I see my child more?”
These are just a few of the many questions that a family lawyer can answer. A family lawyer can also initiate processes that can resolve any issues. When contacting local family law attorneys, ask them:
- Do you have experience with my kind of case (i.e. child custody, divorce, etc.)? How long have you practiced law?
- How long have you practiced in my area?
- What is the cost of the first meeting or initial consultation?
- What information should I bring to the first meeting?
- What costs should I expect? Is there a retainer that I need to pay? If so, when is the retainer due?
- Are there other members of your firm that could be handling my case?
- Do you offer alternatives other than going to court? (If filing for divorce, ask the family law firm if they offer these divorce alternatives.)
- Should I email or call you? When will I hear from you next?
Your First Family Law Attorney Appointment
At the first meeting with the family lawyer, come as organized as possible. Family law attorneys need all the information about the situation; clients should bring as much documentation as possible including (but not limited to):
- List of documented interactions and actions by each party (if applicable)
- Related documentation to the divorce, custody, or other situation
- Financial documents related to the matter (i.e. canceled checks, paystubs, taxes, etc.)
In addition, clients should have a list of questions they have about the situation. It may be helpful to write down these questions before the appointment to ensure that all questions are answered.
Situations a Family Law Attorney Can Help With
There are many situations that a family law attorney can assist with, including (but not limited to):
- Filing for divorce
- Seeking an annulment/annulled marriage
- Initiating mediation (in lieu of a traditional divorce)
- Filing for legal separation
- Child custody modification
- Drafting a child custody agreement
- Child support modification
- Paternity questions
- Spousal support issues
- Dividing property among spouses
- Same-sex/domestic partnership issues
- Requesting visitation with children by a third party (i.e. grandparent, relative, etc.)
- Terminating parental rights
- Divorce agreement modification
- Initiating a collaborative divorce