Family lawyers help manage legal problems between persons with familial relationships. These issues can include paternity, guardianship, juvenile delinquency, emancipation, custody, child support, adoption, and divorce. Family lawyers work in offices, courts, and educational settings. They may file legal documents, participate in mediation sessions, and offer legal advice to clients. –Study.com
Choosing the right family law lawyer begins with finding one with experience working on divorces similar to yours. For example, the collaborative divorce process is quite different from a traditional litigated divorce. When choosing a family law lawyer, there are several qualities to consider.
Prioritize “Family First”
Collaborative divorce is not about winning or losing. Your family law lawyer wants you, your spouse and – most importantly – your family to reach a mutually agreeable outcome. Rather than fighting, you and your spouse will communicate to brainstorm solutions to your unique situation. This gives you more flexibility to put your family first with each decision you make.
Choose a Great Communicator
The success of a collaborative divorce depends on the communication between you and your spouse. It’s also important to find an attorney with whom you connect. Your family law lawyer should want what’s best for you and your family, now and in the future.
A collaborative divorce isn’t about fighting, so locate a professional who encourages working together. Look for a legal professional that listens and communicates well. Your family law lawyer should be able to answer all your questions. They should also be able to explain the collaborative divorce process clearly.
Divorce is anything but pleasant. For that reason, it’s critical you find a family law lawyer with whom you feel comfortable. Before you retain and hire someone, take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions:
- Did they spend time answering your questions?
- Will they work around your availability?
- Do you inherently trust them to have your family’s best interests at heart?
- When talking, do they reference your spouse and children?
- Do they make sure you fully understand the divorce process?
- Are you comfortable asking them questions?
If the answers to these questions are mostly “yes,” you are well on your way to choosing a family law lawyer for your collaborative divorce.
Choose Experience and Knowledge
In addition to finding someone who communicates well and with whom you feel comfortable working, it’s important to consider their experience and knowledge. Every divorce is unique, so the more experience your family law lawyer has, the more likely they’ll be able to assist you fully.
Your legal professional should have experience and knowledge regarding a variety of topics, including:
- Collaborative vs. conventional divorce processes
- Alimony (spousal maintenance)
- Child custody/legal decision making and parenting time
- Child support (money)
- Property division
- Up-to-date information on applicable Arizona and federal laws
Collaborative Divorce Looks Ahead
Once you find the right family law lawyer for your divorce, you’ll be able to start the process. While you may feel like the emotional baggage of your marriage is weighing you down, collaborative divorce offers you an opportunity to acknowledge your history and then focus on the rising future.
Objectivity is critical to a family law lawyer who uses collaborative divorce. You want your attorney to help you focus on the big picture: family security and happiness as your lives takes a new direction.
You may want your divorce “over and done with.” That’s understandable, but it’s also how bad decisions can happen. Your family law lawyer wants to work with you to protect your interests now and in the future.
With a collaborative divorce, you’ll be able to reassure your children and extended family members of their healthy co-parenting future. You can explain that although your family’s living situation is changing, family is forever.
When you’re ready to choose a family law lawyer for your collaborative divorce, contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices. There are a host of names and profiles on that website from which you can choose your professional.
Licensed for over 21 years in Arizona, Nevada and California, Craig Cherney is a different kind of attorney. He truly listens and solves problems rather than merely identify risks.