Deciding to hire a family law attorney for your divorce or child custody case is probably the most significant step that you will take throughout your case’s existence. Make no mistake: you are not required to have an attorney representing you in a family law case. However, one of the most critical choices you will have to make is expressing yourself in the subject or 2 hire a lawyer. If you have never done this before, then it can be a stressful and challenging step in the process for you to do so.
One of the things that I think people underestimate when it comes to hiring a lawyer is that it is not as simple as picking a name out of the phone book. Or, more accurately these days, picking a name off of the Internet. Options are always a good thing when it comes to our lives. Being able to select more than one restaurant to eat for dinner, having different schools for your children to attend, and having other channels to watch on the television for all things that I think we would agree more options are good. However, options can also present problems of their own. It is a blessing to live in Southeast Texas with his many family law attorneys as we have. If you find yourself facing some problematic family last circumstances, you want options in terms of hiring a lawyer.
On the other hand, if you don’t know where to begin when it comes to hiring a lawyer, then the options can be overwhelming. Like anything else in life, you need to have a plan for hiring a lawyer. Without a plan, those options that should be an advantage for you will quickly hinder you’re hiring the correct attorney. Just like when it comes to picking out a meal at a fast-food restaurant, if you don’t go in with a plan, you’ll wind up selecting a meal at random or the most recent one you saw on the menu. This is not a good idea if you’re hungry, and it especially is not a good idea if you need to hire a lawyer.
Take the advice that we provide you in this blog post and do your homework. When you have your task done, it will be natural to have a plan in mind. You don’t even have to perform a mountain of legal research proper to determine which attorney you need to hire. Simply put, you can determine what sort of attorney you need, look for an attorney who has the requisite experience, and then conduct your interviews. This is a basic game plan for you to take when it comes to hiring a lawyer.
What sort of attorney do you need for your divorce or child custody case? In Harris County alone, there are approximately 15,000 attorneys who reside here. Even relative to the massive population of our county, that is a pretty large number. Therefore, you can shake a stick in any direction, and a couple of lawyers will come out who would be willing to take on your case. However, you need to ask yourself if the lawyer that you will be hiring needs to have any particular type of focus in their practice. For instance, does your attorney need to have experience handling these types of cases? What type of cases are child custody or divorce case?
You have probably heard of criminal law from the news, television shows, or movies. Criminal cases involve a person who is accused of having broken the rule. In those types of places, a criminal attorney known as a criminal defense attorney will typically represent you or whoever is accused or charged with a crime. These attorneys have specialized knowledge of criminal law in Texas and the procedural issues that impact cases inside and outside the courtroom. Without a doubt, it is essential for a person accused of a crime to have a criminal attorney defending them.
Generally speaking, the other type of law is civil law. Civil cases involve noncriminal issues such as torts, contracts, business law, property law, and family law. Within these areas are subspecialties of attorneys who focus their practice on one particular area. Some attorneys have what are called general practices that focus on multiple areas of the law. You especially see these types of lawyers who work in small towns where there might not be a handful of different lawyers representing people in specific areas of the law.
Child custody and divorce cases are types of family law cases. Family law is a significant subset of civil cases in the state of Texas. I would go so far as to say that most civil cases filed every day in Harris County are family law cases. As a result, Cammy law attorneys are pretty prevalent, and you will find that many lawyers practice specifically in areas related to family law. With that said, I would certainly recommend hiring an attorney for your divorce or child custody case who practices either exclusively or primarily in family law.
The same reasoning that applies to this piece of advice would apply to hiring a criminal defense attorney for your criminal case. There are specific factors in play in the world of family law that an attorney who generally practices civil law would be unaware of. Just as I’m sure in your field of work, some patterns exist regarding family law cases. Learning those patterns and how they develop and, most importantly, what they mean to your point is an advantage of having a family law attorney by your side. While any licensed attorney in Texas may be able to take your family law case, whether or not the attorney can help you achieve your goals is an entirely separate matter altogether.
Now that we have determined that hiring a family law attorney it’s probably the most important thing for you in your case, you should next determine the level of experience your attorney ought to have when it comes to representing you. Generally speaking, the more experience, the better when it comes to hiring a lawyer. However, the issue of cost certainly comes into play when we talk about hiring a lawyer. Generally speaking, the more experienced your attorney is in a particular area of the law, the more they will charge by the hour. We will talk more extensively in a moment about how attorneys bill clients in civil cases but suffice it to say, generally speaking, you will pay more money for an experienced attorney than for a less experienced attorney.
Therefore, you need to determine what level of experience is right for you in your type of case. This can be easier said than done if you have never been involved in a family law case before. When our marriage, children, or finances are concerned, every matter is a fundamental matter to most of us. Determining what kind of experience your case requires will likely end up as a determination on how much you can afford to spend on a lawyer. Given that there are so many different options when it comes to hiring an attorney in Harris County in Southeast Texas in general, you will find a wide range of options in terms of price.
It would make a great deal of sense to create a budget for yourself to determine where you can pull money from to pay for an attorney and how much money you are comfortable spending. Some basic Internet research, such as our blog, will show you how much a typical divorce or child custody case costs in terms of time and money. From there, you will have the ability to understand the basics of these types of cases and what you should be looking for in terms of an overall cost that you are willing to pay.
Interviewing an attorney, it’s probably the next step that you will want to take. Fortunately for you, an interview with an attorney with the law office of Brian Fagan is only a phone call, a short trip to one of our two offices, or a video screen away. Our experienced family law attorneys want to make it as easy as possible for you to meet with us and learn more about our office, family law, and how these elements may interact with your family. Without a doubt, I can tell you that hiring an attorney means more than just looking up their reviews online. Instead, you should focus your attention on actually being able to meet with an attorney in person. Doing so will allow you to get a feel for them personally and decide whether you feel comfortable having that lawyer represent you.
When it comes to this subject, your ability to read a person and understand hammer her will be necessary. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily a skill that I can provide you with much information about here. The only essential thing that I would tell you is that you should pay close attention to how the lawyer either does or does not listen to you when it comes to the questions and concerns you have for them. Most attorneys will be glad to talk during one of these interviews. However, if you can find an attorney who is equally willing to teach and listen in a consultation, you will be on the right track as far as finding a lawyer for you.
Finding an attorney with the heart of a teacher is difficult. Ultimately, however, you will need to learn about family law to make good decisions. An attorney is not there to make decisions for you in a case. Instead, the attorney is there to help guide you and help you to make decisions for yourself. The attorney, as it were, it is not the race car driver. You are the race car driver. Or attorney is there to help point out potholes and give you instructions on making it to your destination. Allowing the attorney to take the driver’s seat and act as if the case were their own is a significant problem, in my opinion.
An attorney’s case that they are representing you on is still yours. Years from now, it is you who will live with the consequences and decisions made in your case. Taking ownership of your case, your choices and your family is the best advice that I could provide to you in the short space of this blog post. Regardless of what anyone else will tell you, an attorney is not designed to decide a case for you. Instead, you want to control the case’s outcome as best you can by being as diligent as possible, and selecting the right attorney is only part of that process. Do not underestimate the impact that an attorney can have in your case, but at the same time, you should not overestimate the Roland attorney should play. It is your case, and you should conduct yourself in that way.
What is a retainer agreement? Paragraph getting back to the subject matter at hand, I wanted to talk to you about what it means to hire an attorney from a dollars and cents standpoint. For the most part, you probably already know that it is a financial commitment for you to hire a lawyer. This does not mean that the lawyer will cost you an arm and a leg or that you will have to take out a second mortgage on your home to afford an attorney. I know that some people have these concerns based on my interactions with other people and potential clients.
With that said, hiring a lawyer is a financial commitment that you need to understand the ramifications of. Family law attorneys count themselves among those lawyers who build by the hour. Hourly billing means that you will be charged a certain amount for every quarter of an hour that your attorney spends working on your case. Every employee at your attorney’s office, from a legal assistant to your attorney, builds a certain amount on an hourly basis for work performed on a client’s case. Your case will be no exception.
The more time required of your case, the more your case will cost in terms of dollars. In this sense, time equals money. You will be responsible for ensuring that your attorney has the requisite cash necessary to do the work on your case. This is so important that before significant events in a case, our staff will reach out to clients to ensure that they have the necessary amount of money in their client account so the attorney can perform the required work. We would not want to put you in a position where you have a mediation date, hearing, or trial of coming but do not have money in your account for the attorneys to bill you and be paid for the work that needs to be performed. Nobody benefits from this type of circumstance.
A retainer is an initial payment that is made that goes towards hiring a family law attorney. Every attorney will have a certain amount of money that they charge on an upfront basis in order 2 retain their services. This is why we refer to these payments as retainers. They contain an attorney’s services for you in a particular legal matter. It would help if you asked the attorney that you are planning to hire for a sample contract or rundown of their hourly fee and retainer requirements at an initial consultation. This will give you a good idea of what kind of investment will be necessary in this case and whether or not that lines up with your budget and your goals.
Once you pay your retainer agreement, the attorney will typically get you on a monthly billing schedule where you will pay a certain amount of money to the attorney each month on a specific day of the week. Think of it this way as just another bill you will be responsible for paying, like a utility bill or school tuition. These monthly payments will ensure that there is money in your account if work has to be done. Because no one can accurately predict exactly how much work must be performed at a given time, we’re turning will collect money from you regularly regardless of how much work is done on your case that month some months you will find that a great deal of work needs to be performed on your topic and other months will be relatively quiet. That is how family law cases tend to go.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.