You’re facing a situation no parent wants to face: the need for a child custody lawyer. You’re already overwhelmed from going through a divorce or separation; now you have to think about this. How do you find the right lawyer, and what do you even look for as you search?
There’s no simple answer to this question. There are, however, certain guidelines to keep in mind as you look for a child custody lawyer.
You’d be surprised how location plays a factor in a lawyer’s ability to exceed client expectations. That’s because child custody laws can be fairly complicated, and each court system is unique. Selecting a lawyer close to you who is familiar with your local court system is always an ideal choice.
Number of years on the job aren’t necessarily as important as knowledge and experience working with particular types of cases. As you compare family law attorneys, consider who has clear expertise in child custody. While all family law attorneys have some experience in all areas of family law, this level of expertise can vary. For example, some lawyers might spend the majority of their time focusing on divorce, dissolution, annulments, and separation agreements, while others spend a great deal on child custody. Consider this when deciding on your lawyer.
Ease of Access
How accessible is the lawyer you’re considering? Can you reach out when you have questions or concerns, and will you be able to talk directly with the lawyer, or will it be a member of their staff? How will the lawyer get in touch will you, and how often? These are all questions to ask as you research and narrow down your options for a child custody lawyer. If you want someone who is more communicative on a regular basis, or someone easily accessible when you need them, make sure you verify this before choosing a lawyer.
Will the lawyer you choose actually handle your case? Or will he/she have someone else working on the case and doing most of the communication with you? These are important considerations, since some lawyers will work directly with their clients in addition to doing the work behind the scenes. Others have paralegals or other staff members handling a bulk of the work outside of the court room. Think about how many people you want to work with and make sure to ask if the attorney you select will be personally handling your case, or handing it off to another lawyer.
A smart step to take before selecting a child custody lawyer is getting feedback from real clients. Ask friends and family if they’ve heard anything about the lawyer’s work. Check the lawyer’s online presence for reviews and testimonials to see what other people’s experiences have been like. Look for statements from people in similar situations to yours. Did they have a positive experience? What was it like working with that attorney? Asking around for referrals and opinions is a crucial step in the research process.
You’re going through one of the most challenging times of your life. Most people don’t want a lawyer who is cold, tuned out, and only there to make a paycheck. Most people want to work with someone who exhibits understanding, empathy, and kindness. It’s perfectly acceptable to look for someone who will not only treat you with respect, but will show compassion for what you’re going through.
If you are taking a proactive approach to pursuing child custody, you are already on the right track. Once you research and narrow down your attorney, he or she will help you get started down the path toward achieving your child custody goals.
Columbus Ohio Divorce Lawyer
The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC is honored to work with both traditional and non-traditional families to assist them through extraordinarily difficult times. Please contact us with any questions.