Family law is a legal area that has to do with family relationships. A family attorney can facilitate:
- Child custody and guardianship
- Child support
- Estate planning
- Seniors and eldercare
- Visitation rights (with children or elderly)
Because families have emotional attachments and memories, family law is a sensitive area of legal practice. Attorneys that are knowledgable in family law should have many helpful qualities, especially compassion and understanding.
Your Arizona family attorney should offer:
- Strong communication skills
- Empathy for you and your situation
- Good research and resource abilities
- People skills
8 Questions You Should Ask a Family Attorney
Q: How long have you been practicing in our state?
A: Laws are state-specific, and it’s important your family attorney not only have experience but also have experience practicing law in your state.
Q: Will you or an assistant be handling my case?
A: The legal aspects of your case will be handled by your family law attorney. However, you will often leave messages with an assistant or paralegal and they may follow up with you directly to help keep costs down.
Q: What do most of your cases involve?
A: A family law attorney should have the knowledge to manage all types of family law cases. Still, some lawyers have more experience in particular areas, like parenting time and spousal support. Others may focus on collaborative divorce or mediation.
Q: With regards to my case, what do you see as an attainable goal?
A: If you have unrealistic expectations, an honest family attorney will tell you. Then, you can discuss realistic possibilities.
Q: How much will this cost, and how do I pay?
A: Many family attornies bill your case by the hour and it’s impossible for them to predict exactly how much it will cost though they should be able to provide a range. A more progressive approach is to offer a flat fee based on the outcomes you seek to achieve.
Your family attorney may quote a worst-case scenario cost vs. a best-case-scenario cost. Some attorneys request a retainer up-front. There is likely an hourly rate that may vary; face-to-face meetings and court time may be priced differently than phone calls.
Whether your family law attorney charges by the hour or offers a flat fee for their services, make sure you fully understand how you will be charged for your case.
Q: Will I get copies of all correspondence?
A: Email has minimized the incredible paper trails found in most law offices. Your family attorney should be able to provide you copies of all correspondence and actions taken by traditional or electronic mail.
Q: When I call or email you with questions, how soon will you respond?
A: It’s important to have proper expectations when you start working with a family law attorney. Even if the response to your question is, “I need more time to answer your question,” make sure you’re comfortable with the answer and then you can make a decision if they are right for you.
Q: As your client, what do you expect of me?
A: There may be some information you can provide to facilitate a faster resolution to your case. However, make sure to follow the advice/instructions provided by your attorney.
We Have Questions, Too
Some of the things we will discuss may include:
- Relationships – your spouse, children, extended family
- Relationship outcomes – divorce or separation, a change in living arrangements, understanding the direction you want your relationships to take
- Estate planning – wills or guardianships you have or need to put in place to protect your family
- Finances – Property ownership, general asset/debt situations
Following your consultation, we’ll discuss what you want and need, along with desired outcomes for your family. At Ogborne Law, we focus on the following areas:
Call or contact Ogborne Law to learn more about us and if we may be able to help you with your situation.
Engaging with an attorney to protect your family is never an easy step. Whether you need to protect your family from the unthinkable or restructure your family through collaborative divorce, we’re here to help. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation with Michelle Ogborne, please visit the scheduling page to get started.