Common Types of Family Law Case

Family is the most important thing in the world, and this ensures that any issues that occur are of great concern to everyone in the family. This is where the Los Angeles Family Law Lawyer steps in and tries to resolve any breakdowns as friendly as possible.

Disputes relating to family law are dealt with in the civil court system, which allows two people to settle their differences before a judge. Family law cases will deal with domestic issues and are usually between spouses and parents, whether it solves issues between them or about their children.

Read on for more information on the common problems that may arise in family law cases and how they are handled in court.

  1. Divorce

When a parent decides to dissolve their relationship, different things have to be sorted outout. They need to arrive at an agreement to share debts and assets. If they have kids, they must decide who gets their custody. When a divorcing couple is unable to reach an agreement, they can file a case in a family court.

The statues of family law define the rules of asset distribution, child custody, and spousal and child support. Los Angeles Divorce Attorney statues define asset distribution rules, child custody rules, and spousal and child support rules.

  1. Adoption

Family law has different regulations relating to adoption. These regulations were incorporated to ensure the best interests of the adopted child. A couple or individual wishing to adopt a child must abide by these regulations. Adopting a child entails lengthy paperwork which can lead to delays. Adopters must consider hiring a family law attorney to comply with various guidelines and complete the paperwork swiftly.

  1. Child Support

Cases relating to child support shall be brought to court if there are disagreements about the amount that a parent should contribute or if they have failed to keep up with payments. Child support is required if a child is under 18 years of age or up to 20 years of age if he or she is not high school graduates, which means they are dependent on their parents.

Payments include food, clothing, medical care or education aid for a child. A family law court is in a position to issue an order setting out child support requirements to resolve the disputes.

  1. Protection orders

In cases of domestic violence, victims who feel threatened and worry that the aggressor may attempt to physically harm them can file a petition in court to appeal to pass a restraining order.

Depending on the circumstances the restraining order may be temporary or permanent. Restraining orders restrict contact between the aggressor and the aggrieved party. The victim may have them arrested if the aggressor violates the restraining order.

  1. Child custody

Child custody in divorce cases can be a contentious issue. If the couple can’t decide who will be able to keep the child, then the court will intervene. Family court’s presiding over child custody cases take various factors to come to a conclusion, such as both the income of the parents, the needs of the child and the physical and mental health of the parents.

  1. Paternity:

In most cases the mother lodges paternity cases in an effort to secure child support payments from an absent father. But biological fathers sometimes file for paternity so they can have a relationship with their child. Typically paternity is determined by DNA testing.

However, in many jurisdictions, there are a variety of rules and time constraints that may deny the inheritance rights of a deceased father’s biological children. Family courts help you to solve this kind of issues and cases.

A Family Law Study

A Family Law StudyThere are several other types of Family Law. One factor remains the same though. Cases relating to family law typically involve more emotion than others.

Issues such as divorce and custody of children are high on stake. You could be overwhelmed if you find yourself in the middle of a family issue. Each state has specific legislation that can affect the outcome of your case. Having an experienced and skilled Los Angeles Family Law Lawyer will mean you can deal with any of these common family law issues when they occur. If you have any family law questions, you should talk to a lawyer who has experience in the niche.


Michael L. Whitmarsh is the Principal Attorney at Whitmarsh Family Law, PC. He is considered amongst the  Los Angeles Divorce Lawyers, with her prime focus areas being Family Law including Divorce, Child Custody and Paternity Modifications. Whitmarsh is highly passionate about her cases and understands her clients’ requirements with patience to come up with the most apt solution to embark on their journey to another chapter in their life.

Smart Divorce Network Contributor

The therapist explains 5 Ways Couples can recover From a Fight

Couples can recover From a Fight

It is important to mention that romantic relations often come across a fight or a conflict over anything. The fact that many of us discard is that these fights have the potential to make the relationship quite stronger. It enables couples to come closer and surround themselves with more love, affection, and care in the future. Learn more about it.
However, what appears the problem for the couples is when they end up having hurtful and damaging fights. It leads to severe pain, mental pressure and the most significantly, fatigue. Therapists explain 5 ways couples can recover from a fight.

Thinking and understanding the fight

It has been significant to note that the rationality and logic help recovering from the flight. In many cases, the logical problems turn out to be the major factors behind the fight. It is followed by the brain being locked into the fight mode creating an adversarial environment. What is more troubling that one in a couple ends up using the inappropriate words? Maybe, the words or feelings you expressed during the fight do not prove your rationality. And many times, maybe, they do not reflect one’s genuine opinions.

Moreover, couples need to locate the illogical and unintentional emotional abuse that might have taken place during fights. The unintentional emotional abuse is in the shape of the lying, name-calling and most importantly, gas-lighting. Nevertheless, it is highly imperative to locate the root cause of the flight.

Giving each other the much-needed space

Certainly, flight makes you fall into the panic mode making you quite aggressive and occupied by bad moods. After a troubling and irregular flight, couples need to have a relaxing time where they can reflect. They need the much-needed space and distance from each other that will go on to soothe them.

This will turn out to be an effective manner when space will allow the couples to patch up and reunited. They will also have time to think and reflect upon as to why the fight took place at first. Rather than wasting time, all you need is to talk to the partner and resolve the problems. You will have to ensure that you communicate your reservations to your partner. Making your partner feel that you love them out of the way is very important.

Communicating in a positive manner

According to Dr. Ron Burriss, an eminent and highly respected psychologist, one of the solutions to all types of problems that might face relationships is communication and discussion. Communicating is considered to be the common component that both males and females respond to easily.

For that to happen, you need to be open to talking or in fact, talking again out of nothing. In case, your flight includes many reasons then you must solve them one by one. One should seek to understand the partner and reasons that must have led them to engage in a fight. It is very imperative to know that partners should not come with accuse and blame each other.

Accepting the responsibility

Flight doesn’t take place because of the fault of one partner. Both in a couple are possible, responsible for the mishap or an unfortunate situation. For that, you will have to confess the responsibility and realize the fact that you must have hurt your partner. You do not need to adopt a defensive approach while handling the flights in relationships. It will be productive if you turn first to apologize and break the ice.

It must not be forgotten that the sincere apology would turn out to be a recipe for the patch-up. It has to be followed by the promise on either side that such fights and situations will not be repeated. Along with that, you have to analyze the situation from your partner’s view.

Making up

Once you manage to end the fight, now all you need to do is to bolster the relationships. Although this might be the cumbersome or an upheaval task especially after the highly complicated and severe fight, healing the relations once and for all will be the quick fix. This can be done when partners decide to spend time together such as going for the movie or lunch.

One of the interesting things you can do is to laugh together even though it might be hard after flights. This will bring about the positive things owing to the release of the positive hormones. Intimacy is an effective tool to help couples come closer.


It must be realized that the fights are part of every relationship. What is more important that partners in the couple should be committed to improving ties after every conflict? After all, communication, love, affection and other tools are required to heal the relationships.

How a Private Investigator can Help your Divorce Case

Divorce Case

Divorce Case

Going through a divorce is a tough experience for any couple, and difficulties are compounded when children or other dependent relatives are involved. Regardless of fault, it is usually the case that there are disagreements over the events that caused or contributed to the divorce, the procedure for actually obtaining the divorce, and the practicalities of separating assets and liabilities. While these occurrences would, in any case, present difficulties for a divorcing couple, they can be made worse by not having accurate information. When the truth can mean a party has to pay considerable sums of money or surrender access to children, it is unsurprising that divorce case proceedings are wrought with fabrications and misrepresentations. 

Fortunately, there are ways of addressing these challenges head-on, meaning an equitable and appropriate settlement is within reach for divorcing couples no matter how bitter the initial proceedings. Private investigators (PIs) – also known as private detectives or inquiry agents in some jurisdictions – can be hired to set the record straight.

Unhappy couple going through break-up


What do PIs do in a Divorce case?

PIs are highly-trained individuals who seek out, verify, and analyze information on practically any topic using a range of specialist techniques, including surveillance, interrogation, fact-finding, and public records searches. Many PIs are contracted by law firms, newspapers, and other groups with investigative needs, but individuals are also able to hire PIs for personal or business matters. Divorce case is a common domain for PIs, and their clandestine and confidential nature is often one of the main attractions of hiring them.

For the most part, divorce involves personal matters – such as infidelity, domestic violence, and deceit – but PIs are usually such well-rounded and skilled individuals that they can be instructed to investigate a whole range of matters, including complex financial and business issues that might be relevant to a divorce. 

Some of their core activities in relation to divorces include:

  • Gathering Evidence of Allegations

When filing for divorce, one or both spouses must specify whether there is a fault at issue. A fault divorce is one whereby blame for the divorce is assigned owing to the actions or inactions of one or the other party. Of the traditional fault grounds, the allegation of cruelty (inflicting physical or emotional pain) is the most common, but others include adultery, desertion, imprisonment, and sexual dysfunction that was not disclosed prior to marriage. In each of these cases, a judge will require evidence of the alleged fault. This is where PIs come in.

Gathering evidence of fault without the assistance of a PI is rarely recommended, as it could put one or both of the spouses in a dangerous position and the techniques employed could affect the outcome of the legal case in unpredictable ways. PIs are used to managing the risks associated with investigating the fault and they carry out their investigations in such a way as to comply with applicable evidence laws. 

  • Ascertaining Means for Child Support

Divorce brings out a side to many spouses that the other has never seen. Nowhere is this tendency more common than in relation to the making available of assets and financial information for child support. 

Often, a deep distrust of the other spouse means that one will seek to hide or obscure the true value of assets, delay salary or bonus payments, and misrepresent income so as to lower any legally-mandated child support payment. Through surveillance or complex financial analysis, PIs expertly locate the true figures involved in these situations. Their work can better ensure that reporting is fair and accurate so that one spouse is not left with any undue financial burdens when it comes to supporting a child.

  • Investigating Suitability for Child Custody

It is not only the financial aspects of a child’s care that are at issue during divorce proceedings. More often than not, the events that lead up to the divorce indicate to one or both spouses that the other presents an issue for the child’s welfare. This is especially the case where infidelity or alcohol/drug use is suspected, as the accused may not be available to care properly for the child. 

Hands of unrecognizable sad man and woman holding torn picture of couple in love. Ended relationship. Crying.Valentines day composition. Studio shot on brown wooden background.


These are very serious concerns that have implications not only for the divorce but also for the individuals involved should any criminality – such as child neglect or abuse – be discovered. Again, PIs are able to find and, importantly, verify information about any such activities and relay that back to legal teams who are then positioned to put protective measures in place for the child, whether that be a complete denial or a restriction of custody, or a form of supervised parenting time. 

  • Conducting Searches into Assets

Rarely is it the case that assets and liabilities are divided in such a way that neither spouse contends the split. Whether there are debates over mortgage contributions and car payments or business values and inheritances, PIs are able to uncover financial information from a range of sources. Using this information, lawyers are able to put together more accurate and fairer plans for the division of assets upon granting of the divorce, which ultimately means a more amicable settlement and lowers legal fees. 

PIs are especially useful in cases where one or both spouses suspect that assets are being hidden. It is, unfortunately, quite common for one or both spouses to try to shield their assets from the divorce proceedings so as not to lose them in any eventual settlements or awards. 


With divorce rates on the increase in countries all over the globe, couples will continue to face a whole host of difficulties when choosing to end their marriage. The good news is that hiring a Private Investigator is one way of reducing the stress and turmoil caused by divorce, not least because it means that all parties – spouses and their legal teams – can enter into the proceedings with more accurate information. From the discovery of hidden assets to gathering evidence of infidelity, PIs bring to light difficult or unknown issues in a way that few other professionals can.

How And When To Hire The Best Family Lawyer?

Family Lawyer

Family matters are often sensitive matters. They are not just some feuds between people but with someone close to your heart. Sometimes delinquency of any one family member turns to be unacceptable which compels hiring a lawyer. Family lawyers play a vital role in managing everything from legal paperwork to the grueling case documents.

You need a lawyer when you see that you are facing some legal family problems like divorce, property issues, custody, etc. Seeing and choosing a good lawyer could be a time-consuming experience.  These guidelines mentioned below can assist to find you an experienced family lawyer.

Make a List

Checking the profile of the lawyer is very important to know who is suitable to handle your case. For that first, make a list and see which family lawyers are available in your area. When you are appointing a family lawyer, there is personal and official information that you need to share with them. Initially, it is necessary to find out their qualifications and experiences, then allow the lawyer to make legal strategies.  

Look for the family lawyer Experience: 

Relating to family matters a professional lawyer is a primary requirement. But when it comes to legal family issues, it is necessary that you talk to a person who has years of experience. Family lawyers who have experience working in this field would be able to win the argument with bigger shots at success. A family lawyer who has already interacted, dealt with different family issues solved their problems successfully would be able to provide you with realistic and acceptable solutions. 


Always check whether the lawyer would be available whenever required for the case proceedings. Lastly, you do not want a lawyer who has too much on their table, making it impossible to provide you with quality time and leading to delay in the management of the legal family issues. A good lawyer always gives you time and listens to all your conversations to make sure that they have enough evidences. This increases your caches to win a case. Choose family lawyers who have enough time for consultations and would be there for you when required. 


Before you decide whom to choose as your family lawyer, it is crucial to know if their fees or charges are at a nominal rate. Some family lawyers would charge fees as per seating while some would do it per month. Once you are done with the background check, qualification, experience, and consultation, see whether you would be able to afford them based on their charges.

Experienced family lawyers often ask for high pay because of their experiences and the number of won cases on family issues. A comparative study of lawyer charges is necessary for respect of experiences.  Based on the research you will get an idea regarding which family lawyer would you be able to afford, and which one would be unaffordable. 


One should check the eligibility of the lawyer if he/she has the certificate of representing in legal family issues. Providing you with valid law practicing certificate are important. Certificates can provide you an idea about the area of expertise field of the lawyer. As professional and qualified, family lawyers will be able to place appropriate arguments, in front of the court.

If you want, then meet them personally and decide regarding them. The lawyer should always fulfill the requirement, so see whether they are suitable for you or not. 

Conclusion on family lawyer 

This how you get the best family lawyer for yourself. Make sure that you are open with them regarding all your problems so that they can collect enough evidences to proof and help you win the case.


About author: I am Anna Wrench, a knowledgeable and qualified blogger. Here you can see my skills which give you brief ideas on understanding the concepts of “How And When To Hire The Best Family Lawyer?”. I adore writing a blog on many topics, like Home Improvement, Automotive, Business, Health, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Pet, etc. 

What To Expect From A Divorce Lawyer: What A “Good” Lawyer Does & Doesn’t Do

Divorce is an emotionally, legally, and financially complicated process, and experiencing some degree of frustration with it is normal. After all, choosing to get a divorce will likely be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make in your life. But, as experienced family law attorney Tim Moynahan recommends, “One way to tell you should speak to a lawyer about divorce is when you seriously consider this option to have a better life.”

Many people who are going through a divorce have a difficult time distinguishing good legal services from bad. They may feel as though their lawyer is not doing “enough” when in reality, they are thoroughly working through a long and complex legal process. Knowing what to expect from your lawyer before you initiate divorce proceedings is therefore essential to ensuring that the relationship between you and your lawyer is a productive one. Review the guide below for a general overview of what a “good” lawyer does and doesn’t do. A good lawyer:

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Communicates Regularly

You can expect your lawyer to communicate often—within reason, of course. He or she may not be able to answer your every call right away owing to the demands of his or her job, but you can generally expect to hear back from your lawyer within 24 hours on business days.

What’s most important when it comes to communication, however, is clarity. Your lawyer should give you an idea of what kind of problems you can expect to experience during your case, how they should be handled, and a basic timeline for what will happen and when. He or she should also keep you fully informed as your divorce case progresses and prepare you for your deposition and trial.

Adheres To Ethical Standards

Lawyers are held accountable if they violate ethical codes, so if you feel your lawyer has done something truly erroneous, you should take action and file a malpractice suit. Lawyers should comply with all of the following ethical rules:

• They should demonstrate complete loyalty to you, the client.
• They should keep all of your information confidential.
• They should complete necessary legal tasks in a timely manner (i.e., not neglect them to the point where deadlines are missed).
• They should remain within the bounds of the law when representing you.
• They should put your interests first, ahead of their own.

Is Clear About Fees

Legal fees are the most common area of contention between lawyers and their clients. Clients sometimes receive bills that are higher than what they felt they had agreed to, or they receive very vague bills that do not state which services are being covered by which fees. To prevent these issues, you should make sure that you get a fee agreement in writing when you hire a lawyer.

Ideally, however, your lawyer should volunteer any and all necessary information about fees. He or she should explain how often you will be billed and the exact services you are being billed for. If your lawyer is working on contingency (that is, he or she only collects full payment if you win), he or she should openly discuss who will pay for any costs that arise while your case is in progress. If you’re operating on a limited budget, a good lawyer will proactively suggest money-saving legal strategies that you can take.

How Do You Know If Your Expectations Are Reasonable?

Even an excellent lawyer cannot work miracles without your full cooperation. Your lawyer cannot proceed in a timely manner and represent you competently if you do not follow through on what you need to do.

You will need to give your lawyer information (in writing) about the events that led up to your divorce and you will need to be as honest and thorough as possible—don’t leave details out or edit history to make yourself look better. You should also keep your lawyer “in the loop” about any new developments that may affect your case. (This includes letting him or her know if you’ll be unavailable for a period of time.) The more you help your lawyer with doing research and completing necessary tasks, the faster your case will proceed. Don’t expect your lawyer to do everything single-handedly.

Finally, remember that your lawyer cannot take the place of a therapist. It’s natural that you’ll want to talk about the emotional aspects of your divorce with someone, but doing so with your lawyer will only slow the legal process down. For best results, stick to the facts.

What happens when a lawyer gets divorced?

your life

I’ve been a lawyer for 18 years. For the first few years, I worked as a family law attorney. I also served as a guardian ad litem for children in complex divorces.

Nothing really prepares you for your own divorce. That time when you realize that your own marriage has failed and that you have to do something about it. It was surprising, to say the least, when I considered becoming a petitioner for divorce rather than the attorney for the petitioner.

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Wait It Out

So, I did what many other people do in this situation. I tried to wait it out. I pretended that everything was fine for years even though it was very, very clear that we were not suited to one another. Fighting continued and became borderline abusive. And yet I stalled and hesitated to do what I needed to do, hire a lawyer and commence the divorce. But then, the fighting became unbearable and I had no other choice. I literally felt that I couldn’t spend one more minute of my life married to him.  Sound familiar?

Three Times The Average

It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. It was worse. My divorce lingered procedurally and emotionally for 22 months. The average time for a divorce is six months in Wisconsin. Mine took three times, almost four times that long. Emotionally, I went through everything I had previously witnessed other people experience.  It always surprised me when people would argue over little things, and have minor disputes turn into major issues. But sure enough, that’s exactly what happened to me. I went through fights over property. We went through a long succession of temporary custody over the kids. My ex-husband had not been very involved in the raising of our children and had to learn how to handle a seven, four, and two year old. To his credit, he is doing much better with them now than when we started.  That is not to say that we still do not have disagreements and fights. These are normal for a divorced couple; however, I no longer feel anger or spite towards him.

Have I learned?

How have I learned to get past my issues? Yes, I said these are my issues, not my ex-spouses issues. The first step is to recognize that your spouse is no longer to blame for your unhappiness.   Do you need some magical trick? A pill? A unicorn ride?  Nope.   I spent good quality time with my therapist and worked through it. I had already witnessed the effects of parents using their children as weapons in court.  Not good.  I used to lecture my clients to “take the high road.”  Meaning, pick your battles and don’t be a jerk.  I had years of experience on how not to act in a divorce, how not to inflame a situation, and how to focus on the children first.   You may have heard the saying “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.”  I have worked towards indifference.   Although he still annoys me and still does things intentionally to irritate me, I have moved on with my life and I no longer let every verbal barb and emotional issue control my behavior. But this is a choice. It is absolutely and positively a choice.  Once you make the choice to be happy and let go of the anger and fear, you choose to move on with your life.  Can you make your life better, while still be harboring anger and hate? No, it doesn’t work like that. Those bitter divorced people, who hang on to every wrong they have experienced, end up alone or with other bitter and angry people. How do I know? I drafted 202 pre-marital agreements (prenups) for second and third marriages.   Of those, 38 resulted in divorce within three years. I don’t know how many more after that time.

Move On

So what’s my advice as a lawyer that’s been through a divorce? It’s simple. Decide to move on with your life and figure out how best to do that. Don’t keep dragging your ex-spouse into every emotional issue you experience. Pick your battles and let the rest go.  Don’t try and be a hero and power through it without help.  It doesn’t mean you are weak or ill to speak to a counselor or therapist.  It’s a sign of true strength to choose to change your behavior.

So what is my life like now, four years after the divorce?  My children are thriving and I’m now navigating through the ups and downs of a relationship with someone new. Was it hard to go through all this? Absolutely. Even knowing what I knew, and knowing what would happen at every step, I still was emotionally involved in ways I did not expect.

So cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to work through the emotions of it. But then let it go, because it isn’t healthy to hang onto anger, fear, and drama. Get educated and then make the changes to your life that you need to make and, of course, get help if you cannot do this on your own. I read lots of books and educated myself on how to work through it.  The struggle made me a better mom, a better attorney, and quite frankly, a better person.

7 Steps To Choosing The RIGHT Divorce Lawyer

Divorce Lawyer

All divorce Lawyers are not the same. Make sure you find YOUR perfect fit!

It’s difficult to know where to turn when you’re faced with divorce. Few of us have had any prior experience with the legal in’s and out’s associated with this difficult process. In my divorce coaching practice, I’ve heard too many stories of time and money wasted as clients go through lawyer after lawyer trying to find the right one. And yet finding the right divorce lawyer is key to what could be a faster, less expensive divorce versus a long-drawn out emotional and financial nightmare. But if you don’t know what to look for in a divorce lawyer, how do you know you’re investing all of your money, hopes and dreams in the right person?

Follow these 7 steps to find the divorce attorney that’s the right fit for you!

1. Be Realistic

Firstly, you need to realize that divorce is a legal process with the sole purpose of dissolving your assets and resolving custody issues. Your divorce attorney’s job is to represent you to the best of their ability in this process. While you might want them to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job. They are not trained to be your therapist or coach and they don’t want to be. Since your attorney has higher rates and the clock is always running, it is a gross misuse of your money if this is how you are using them. And divorce attorneys have seen it all. What seems immensely important to you might barely register for them within the scope of the legal process. So, be realistic about the role of your divorce attorney and what you can expect from them.

2. Stay Focused On The Goal

Your ultimate goal in this process is to get divorced … and hopefully, you can do so without any major depreciation of your lifestyle. Don’t let your emotions jump in and run rampant when it comes to negotiating over material things that don’t mean much to you in the big picture. If you do, your divorce will be longer, more litigious and definitely more expensive than otherwise. Is it worth it? No. So keep your focus on getting divorced as quickly, and with as little financial damage, as possible. So, the next question is: what kind of divorce will do that for me?

3. Know What You Want

Before you rush out to hire a divorce attorney, consider other alternatives to traditional litigation. If you aren’t completely entangled with children and finances, you could hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce. Mediation is the fastest, cheapest way to get divorced and you might not need to hire an attorney at all! If your negotiation is more complicated, you will have to hire a divorce lawyer to negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorney. Or you could consider a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is focused on negotiation with the goal of preserving a co-parenting relationship. Your last resort is a litigated trial. Typically, these are the cases when neither side will compromise. So, you need to determine what type of divorce attorney you need based on your unique circumstances. Realize that any divorce attorney you talk to will try to steer you in the direction of their own specific expertise. It is up to you to know what you want first, so you can make the right choice.

4. Identify At Least Three Potential Attorneys

Don’t jump to hire the first lawyer you meet. They are not all the same. Find at least three divorce attorneys that you can interview before making your decision. Clearly, you need to hire a lawyer that specializes in family law – and one that is experienced in the specific type of divorce you think is best for you. The ideal attorney has the legal knowledge and experience you need, helps you understand the process, communicates and negotiates well, solves problems creatively and is experienced in your specific court system. So, you need one that is local to you. Regardless of whether or not your divorce is headed to trial, your attorney needs to be experienced with the family law judges in your jurisdiction, so that he/she can advise you appropriately on legal strategy. So, how do you find potential attorneys? Ask you friends for personal recommendations. Ask your trust or estate lawyer for divorce attorney recommendations. Go online to the numerous websites that provide client reviews of attorneys local to you.

5. Interview And Research Potential Attorneys

Start with an initial phone call. Ask them about their experience and specialization within family law. Ask them about what type of client they typically represent. Ask them about their rates. Most divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee and require a retainer, a fee charged in advance. Some lawyers will also negotiate fees based on anticipated settlements. Don’t waste your time (or theirs) on a meeting if they are out of your cost range. Most divorce attorneys provide a free consult to discuss your specific situation and what their legal approach would be. So, take advantage of it to gather as much legal advice as possible! Typically, the attorney you meet with will not be handling the day-to-day issues related to your case. So, ask to meet the colleague or associate that would. The divorce process can also include financial experts, parenting coordinators, coach facilitators and forensic appraisers (to name a few). Find out your attorney’s access to these resources and if any would be relevant to your case (as it will affect overall cost). And even if you have no intention of heading to trial, look at the attorney’s trial record and history of success in court. This track record is an indicator of your attorney’s success in negotiation.

6. Look For Red Flags!

Unfortunately, many attorneys will tell you what you want to hear just to close the deal. While this is your life, it is a business for them. There are no guarantees in this process, so if an attorney is making promises, don’t believe it. If an attorney talks about high-profile clients or divulges confidential information based on other cases, it is highly likely they will do the same to you. If they aren’t respectful of other divorce attorneys you are interviewing, it is a sign that they won’t be to you either. And if during your consult, they are constantly distracted by phone calls and emails and can’t focus their sole attention on you, they likely won’t during your divorce case. Make sure the lawyer you choose acts according to the professional ethics of the industry and treats you with the respect and attention you deserve. This might be their business, but it is your life!

7. Make Your Choice

The divorce attorney you choose to represent you is local, professional, knowledgeable, responsive and communicates well. This attorney is someone you trust and feel comfortable with. This attorney supports your basic philosophy toward divorce and has a style that works for you. This attorney recognizes the importance of your children and puts them first in the legal process by not making unreasonable child support demands or custody arrangements. This attorney is affordable. Divorce is a highly personal and emotional process, the outcome of which can have a significant impact on your life. This is an important decision and there are no guarantees in this process. However, if you follow these steps, you will find the right one – the one that listens to what you want, advises you well and has your best interest at heart.

Use coaching to make better decisions in your divorce, achieve better outcomes and lower the cost. Contact me for your free, 60-minute confidential consultation.