A staggering 1.32 million – that’s how many active lawyers there are in the U.S., many of whom practice family law. This means you won’t have a hard time finding a family law attorney, especially not if you’re in California. After all, over 170,000 lawyers call the Golden State home.
But with so many options, you may feel overwhelmed trying to find the best one for your family.
This guide will help point you in the right direction, so read on.
1. Experience in Handling Similar Cases
Family law attorneys handle divorce, child custody, abuse, and alimony. However, having training for these issues differs from having experience handling such cases.
Thus, you should seek a family lawyer with experience handling cases like yours.
Suppose you’re in the process of divorce, which, in the U.S., occurs in about half of all first marriages. While it may be a mutual decision, you believe your spouse is hiding assets.
In that case, choose a family attorney with experience in asset searches. They often partner with private investigators who are highly experienced in asset investigations. They can work together to uncover properties your spouse may be hiding.
2. Good Bar Standing
Once you have at least three prospects, visit your State Bar’s website. Most have lawyer look-up tools that let you verify their licenses and Bar standing.
An example is the California Bar licensee search tool. You only have to enter your prospects’ names here one at a time.
The result will inform you whether the lawyer’s license is active. It’ll even specify the attorney’s city, such as if their office is in Irvine, Santa Monica, or Newport Beach. Moreover, it’ll tell you if the lawyer has faced any disciplinary action.
Not having any disciplinary history means a lawyer has good Bar standing. You want this in your family attorney. Their good standing indicates they haven’t committed any ethical violations.
3. Schedule a Consultation
Some family law attorneys offer free initial consultations. Use these to gauge your prospects’ professionalism and behavior. You can also use this time to learn how they would handle your case.
A great attorney will be on time for your meeting and listen to your story without interrupting you. They’ll only ask you questions after you finish speaking and even give you free advice.
For example, your case involves child custody in which you suspect abuse or neglect. With these circumstances, an experienced lawyer will likely recommend surveillance services. Such services could be especially helpful in proving child abuse or neglect.
Conversely, avoid a lawyer who is late for your meeting and constantly interrupts you. You may not have paid for the consultation, but these actions indicate they’re rushing you. This may mean they won’t put enough time and effort into your case.
Choose the Right Family Law Attorney
The right family law attorney has extensive experience handling cases similar to yours. They also have good Bar standing and are professional. Lastly, they made you feel comfortable and heard during your first meeting.
Those are all crucial attributes that your family lawyer should have.
If you need investigative services to aid your attorney in building your case, we can help. Reach out to us here at Najar Private Investigation Firm to learn how we can be of service!