If you are going through a divorce or other family law case, it is advisable to hire an experienced family law attorney as early in the process as possible. Not only will your attorney help guide you through the process, he or she will also serve as your advocate and voice so that you can get the best possible result without having to stand alone. It is no secret, however, that legal fees in a family law case can be expensive—and you want to receive value for your money. Here are five tips for getting the most from the relationship with your family law attorney:
- Pick wisely. Not all attorneys are created equal. Make sure you feel comfortable with your attorney’s personality, level of professionalism, and views about your case. Feel free to seek a second opinion with another attorney so that you can compare their styles and perspectives.
- Trust your attorney. It is imperative that you are honest with your attorney and don’t blindside him or her. Your attorney is your advocate, and he or she needs to know the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to prepare your case and effectively represent you.
- Simplify your goals. You will get the most from your attorney if you clearly identify your main goals from the start. You can help your attorney get the best overall outcome for you by letting him or her know the issues on which you are (and are not) willing to compromise.
- Understand billable time. Avoid the temptation to treat your attorney like a therapist—doing so will cost you way too much in legal fees. Condense your conversations with your attorney so that you can get the most from him or her at the lowest cost to you. Leave the therapy to a therapist, friends, or family.
- Ask questions. It’s much easier to ask a question beforehand than deal with a problem later. Make sure that you understand the legal advice you are receiving and any legal language to which you are agreeing. Otherwise, you might later find yourself having to renegotiate terms or even going back to court.
The family law attorneys at Livesay & Myers have years of experience handling family law cases in Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Manassas, Prince William County, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg and surrounding areas. If you are facing a separation, divorce, child custody or other family law matter in Northern Virginia, please contact us to schedule a consultation.