During a stressful time like a divorce, child custody dispute, or fight over alimony, finding the right family lawyer can seem like too much to take on. Without a personal recommendation, there may be too many options to know where to turn. When looking for a family lawyer in Missouri, we recommend talking to the attorney first, which can tell you a lot about if the lawyer is the right choice for you. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm for help with your Missouri divorce or family law matter.
What to Look For in a Family Law Attorney
When looking for a family law attorney, there are a few things that every person wants to have. You want an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the judges and lawyers in your courthouse, and someone who will fight for you. However, there are also a few things you may not have thought about that could be important. This includes:
- Understanding who is handling your case;
- Your lawyer tells you what to expect ahead of time so you will be prepared;
- Your attorney gives you options so you can make the best decision for you and your family;
- Your lawyer responds to your questions and concerns to put you at ease; and
- Your lawyer keeps you informed about your case whenever something comes up.
A lawyer may look great on paper, in their ad, or on a television commercial. However, talking to the lawyer may be the best way to get an idea if this is the right lawyer for you in handling your family law matter.
Who is Handling Your Case?
Some of the larger law firms have such a large team of lawyers that you cannot be sure who will actually be handling your case. In some cases, the most experienced partner will come in and talk to the potential client, sell them on their reputation, and then never be seen again. Instead, the firm will hand the case off to any number of associates or new lawyers to work on your case. You may not know who will show up for your hearing to represent you until the lawyer walks through the courthouse doors.
For many people, it is important to have a familiar face handle their case from beginning to end. This can save you the hassle of repeating the situation to a new person every time a different lawyer shows up to represent you. Ask your lawyer who will be your attorney and if there may be other lawyers who will be handling different aspects of your case.
Telling You What You Can Expect
For many people, going to court is a very unfamiliar process. There are different forms, hearings, legal terms, fees, court documents, and other parts of the family court process that regular people are not used to. This is one of the reasons it can be so difficult to try and deal with your family law dispute on your own.
One of the most comforting parts of hiring an experienced and responsive family lawyer is that they can tell you what to expect ahead of time. It can also prevent you from being blindsided by something the judge or another lawyer may say or do. Telling you what you can expect may reduce your stress and leave you well-prepared for what might happen next.
Giving You Options in Your Case
Ultimately, you are in charge of your case. Your lawyer can give you recommendations and suggestions but it is your decision on what you do in your divorce, child custody dispute, or domestic violence matter. You are in the best position to know what is best for you and your family.
In order to make the best decision, you need to understand all your options. This is an important factor in choosing the right lawyer for many people. Your lawyer will investigate your case, explore various paths, and present all your options, telling you the benefits and drawbacks of each option. Your attorney can also give you options for how you can proceed if a hearing does not go the way you want or the judge makes a decision that is not in your favor. With all the available information, you will be in the best position to make the right decisions for you and your family.
Responding to Your Questions and Concerns
When dealing with something as unfamiliar as a family law case, most family law clients have a lot of questions and concerns. For these people, they may be looking for a lawyer who can respond to their questions and concerns, making sure they understand the process and possibilities ahead. When meeting with a lawyer, make sure you feel comfortable asking them questions and that your lawyer will respond in a timely manner to put you at ease.
Keeping You Informed
The legal process can move very slowly. Even for what seems like an urgent matter, the court may take days, weeks, or even months to even schedule a hearing. Then the court, judges, or other attorneys may cancel the hearing at the last minute. This can be very frustrating for a person who is dealing with the family court.
Waiting is a part of the court process. This is why it is important for you to have a lawyer who keeps you informed and up-to-date on your case. This can include any new communication from the other lawyer, schedule changes, or even legal decisions that may impact your case. Make sure your attorney will keep you up-to-date on any developments in your case so you can rest knowing you are in good hands.
Make a Phone Call and Meet One-on-One
Making a phone call and meeting one-on-one is the best way to tell if the lawyer is the right person for you and your case. Ask any questions you may have regarding the above factors and any other factors that are important to you.
Joshua Wilson is an experienced Missouri family law attorney who has successfully represented clients in various family law matters. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm in Raymore today, online, or by calling (816) 331-9968.