Category Archives: Legal

Divorce And Family Law Attorney For Unique Families

Questions to Ask Your Family Attorney During a Consultation

If you find yourself embroiled in a family dispute, you should consider seeking legal counsel from an established family attorney. 

A family attorney can assist with dealing in matters of divorce, legal separation, child custody, child support, paternity, restraining orders, spousal support, premarital agreements, wills and trusts, and estate planning. No matter what the legal issue may be, it’s crucial to have the right representation when you need it the most.

Before making the choice to hire a family law attorney, it’s important to conduct an interview so you may thoroughly ensure your goals for the case will be met.

The Top Questions to Ask Your Family Attorney

Because lawyers often provide a free or low-cost consultation to discuss case details and possible avenues to pursue, you should take that opportunity to ask several questions. They will help you determine not only the merit of your case, but whether that attorney may be the right one for you.

While your questions may vary depending on the type of situation you need assistance with, here are the top  questions to ask your family attorney during a consultation:

What is your level of experience?

Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer to have a veteran attorney on your side. At the same time, you want to make sure your attorney is well-versed in the law when it concerns family affairs. 

Find out too whether the attorney has dealt more in one type of case over another, what their track record is, and how often their cases wound up settling outside of court instead. Most importantly, make sure this attorney is not only compatible with defending your case, but also bringing something unique to it.

What type of cases do you usually handle and who is your typical client?

Relating somewhat to the first question, you will want to know if your attorney will be right for the job. For example, if your case is for an adoption, you might want to reconsider if your attorney deals primarily with estate planning. 

It’s also important to find out who their typical client is, because if that attorney deals primarily with corporate clients or clients far beyond your financial means, they may not be used to handling a client like you or your best interests.

What are my options?

Another question to ask the attorneys you meet with that is related to the first one is what your options are. You should now know how the attorney or firm prefer to manage custody cases, but you should also find out if they’re giving you the whole picture.

While this might be something you will want to ask every attorney you meet with, you may want to dig a little more into this specifically with any attorney that seems overly zealous to get you into litigation.

Am I being reasonable?

Divorce is a time of extreme emotional strain. When children are involved it’s that much more amplified.

When emotions run high it sometimes clouds judgment. What you may feel is extremely reasonable in regards to your assumptions of how much parenting time you will have compared to your ex-spouse, attorneys may not agree.

I think the most important questions for a parent to ask a divorce attorney at the very beginning of a litigation is whether the attorney thinks that parent’s idea for a custody/parenting time arrangement is fair or not. Most parties come to an attorney with an idea as to what the custody/parenting time arrangement should be. If the party can provide his/her attorney with that idea and explain why they think it is fair, the attorney can then provide feedback and let the party know the likelihood of that custody or parenting time schedule being put into place by a Court or by agreement.

Getting on the same page with the attorney you hire right from the start will only make the entire process that much smoother.

How Long Does it Take You to Respond to Calls and Emails?

You need someone who is going to keep you up to date with information concerning your case. At the very least, your lawyer should be able to call you back when they miss your call or answer an email within 24 hours.

When you’re asking the lawyer about how long they take to answer you back you may also want to talk to them about their preferred contact method. Chances are that using it will get you a faster response.

Will Anyone Else be Working on My Case?

Depending on how complicated your case is, the attorney you’re talking to on the phone may not be the only one working on it. Sometimes they will bring on extra associates and paralegals. If things are really dicey then a personal investigator may get involved.

The reason why you want to ask about these individuals is that you want to make sure that they are experienced. You also want to find out how much adding them on will cost and if your attorney has dealt with them in the past.

“How Do You Charge Clients? Can You Provide Me With An Estimate For My Case?”

During your consultation, ask how the attorney typically charges clients. Is there an hourly rate? Do they work on a retainer or a flat fee? What other costs will be involved in your case (court costs, outside consultants, travel expenses, etc.)? A good family lawyer will be upfront about the costs involved and how the billing process works.

If you are thinking of hiring a lawyer for a flat-fee arrangement, find out what services are included in the scope of the agreement, and what will happen if your legal needs expand outside that scope.

If the attorney charges an hourly rate, you should ask how much cases like yours typically cost. While most family lawyers can provide you with a ballpark estimate for your case, a good attorney will also explain the many factors that could potentially affect the cost of your case, such as the behavior of the opposing party and opposing counsel, facts of the case that are uncovered at a later date, and more.

Is the lawyer someone I can relate to and trust?

If you get a bad feeling during the initial consultation, trust your gut. It’s better to get a second opinion than to hire an attorney that is not the right fit for you, a decision that you will regret later. In fact, it’s never a bad idea to consult with two or three lawyers when before making your decision. In comparing one law firm against another, think about how the firm handled the screening and intake process of your case from the first contact to the present.

For example, when you first attempted contact, did you receive prompt service and attention? Or did your call go to voicemail? Was the person that you spoke to knowledgeable about family law matters such as child support modification and child custody? Did they ask probative questions that led you to believe that they were both experienced and professional? Did they take a special interest in you? Or did they try to get you off the phone as quickly as possible? Did they promptly send you an intake form for you to complete? Did they make the scheduling process simple and efficient? After the initial consultation, did they follow up with you in any manner? All of these factors can help you assess the level of attention that you will likely receive at the law firm in question should you hire them to represent you. The best firms have professional, experienced staff members ready to assist you at a moment’s notice.

When You Need An Immigration Lawyer

Tips to Choosing an Excellent Immigration Lawyer

The US immigration process can be very complicated, confusing and time consuming. Having a good immigration attorney fighting for you can make all the difference to your case. On the flipside, a bad immigration lawyer can fail to deliver the promised services, overcharge you and/or harm your case in a way you might never recover from.

The best way to start the immigration process for you and your family is to research immigration attorneys and law firms. But what benchmarks should you keep in mind as you go through the process of interviewing immigration attorneys/firms?

Get a Referral

Often word-of-mouth is the best way to choose an immigration attorney. Your network of family, friends or colleagues may know other individuals who have dealt with immigration attorneys in order to acquire a green card residency visa or other benefit. You can learn firsthand about the kind of experience the individual had when working with the immigration attorney.

Asking for References

After you’ve been referred to a good lawyer, schedule a consultation where the lawyer strategizes his/her plan of action for your individual situation. Be sure to ask for references. A good immigration lawyer should have great online reviews (Google, Yelp, Avvo) and an abundant list of happy former clients willing to recommend the firm’s services. Other possible resources are researching them via the local bar association, the local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and a member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau.

Consider More than Just Price

Don’t blindly choose an immigration lawyer based on pricing. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for. There are plenty of sub-par immigration attorneys out there offering reduced pricing versus the competition. Some may be handling too many cases at once and don’t have a proper team to dedicate quality time and personalized service to your case. Others may not have the proper experience in complicated areas of immigration law

Tips to Choosing an Immigration Lawyer

The US immigration process can be highly taxing and difficult. When you are navigating through the thorny process, you will want the best lawyer to guide you through all steps. The best way to kick off the immigration process for you and your loved ones is to have exploratory consultations with a number of immigration attorneys. But what guidelines should you keep in mind as you go through the process of interviewing immigration attorneys?

Don’t Look for a Bargain

Don’t just blindly choose an immigration lawyer. There are a lot of terrible and mediocre immigration attorneys out there.  Some may be juggling too many cases at once, making it tough for them to dedicate quality time to your case. Others don’t have enough experience in specific areas of immigration law. Still others are only looking to make as much money as possible from their current portfolio of clients.

Get a Trusted Referral

Tap into your network of friends and acquaintances to find other individuals who have dealt with immigration attorneys in order to acquire a green card residency visa. Word-of-mouth referrals are the best to consider as you can learn firsthand about the kind of experience the visa recipient had when working with the immigration attorney

Ask for References

Once you are referred to a good lawyer, arrange to have a consultation wherein the lawyer gives his or her best recommendations for visa options. Be sure to ask for references. A good immigration lawyer should suffer from no shortage of happy former clients ready and willing to recommend the law firm’s services.

Negotiate Fees

Immigration law firms typically charge by the hour. However, some law firms charge fixed fees for the standard preparing and filing of your case. Opt always to pay a fixed fee for a law firm’s services or else require that they give you an estimation of how much time it will take to file your case so that you know how much their services will cost you in terms of time and money.

HOW TO CHOOSE AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER

Choosing an immigration lawyer can be daunting. Immigration is a complicated process: You need someone who is proactive, knowledgeable and sympathetic to your situation. The process requires time, diligence and tireless attention to detail. It is also a collaboration that involves constant cooperation and communication between you and your attorney. So before you hire an immigration attorney, learn what separates a good immigration lawyer for a great one – do your research before your first consultation.

When the time comes to choose an immigration lawyer, look for one who:

Specializes exclusively in immigration law and has broad immigration law experience. Immigration law is very complex and is extraordinarily detail-intensive. A lawyer who claims to have immigration law experience will not necessarily have the same expertise as one who practices immigration law exclusively. Often, attorneys who practice immigration as well as other fields such as corporate or family law, do not have a great understanding of immigration law as a whole. More often than not, they have some understanding of simple petitions and may handle standard cases, but they tend not to have broad immigration law experience or expertise for more complicated cases.

Practices in a multi-lawyer firm. When you hire an attorney, you are not hiring just one person to handle your case, you are hiring a team of legal professionals. The advantage of hiring an attorney from a multi-lawyer practice is that your attorney will have an immediate pool of additional resources. No one can be an expert in everything – having a team of talented and experienced lawyers working closely together will inspire and allow your attorney to tackle a myriad of different issues

Is well-known and well-respected in the community. Immigration law is a very specialized field and reputation is everything. Before hiring an immigration lawyer, do your research to find out if your lawyer is a respected member of the professional community. Check your lawyer’s credentials to ascertain whether he or she is authorized to practice law (i.e. has passed the Bar and remains in good standing), and research his or her track record. Your local state bar website will disclose if your attorney has any complaints or violations that have been filed against them. The American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA), is another good resource. This is the official professional organization for immigration lawyers and can provide you with recommendations on immigration lawyers in your area. However, membership in AILA does not guarantee a lawyer’s experience or success record.

What to Expect from Your Attorney:

When you attend your first consultation, pay attention to your attorney’s demeanor with you and with the rest of the staff. Your attorney should be familiar with the law and able to answer your questions and concerns directly. The consultation should start soon after you complete any necessary paperwork. Ideally, the firm should feel inviting and professional. Company culture and relations among staff members are crucial factors in establishing a positive atmosphere. It has been proven time and again that the best law firms have professionals who can work together as a team. In our experience, a friendly work environment and true emphasis on teamwork add tremendous value for our clients.

How to Find an Excellent Immigration Lawyer

A good immigration attorney can make all the difference to your case. Many are hard working, honest professionals who genuinely want to help. They could, after all, potentially be making a lot more money in some other area of law. They’re also dealing with a difficult, delay-prone bureaucracy; and facing more frustrations than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many immigration office closures and further delays.

However, a bad immigration lawyer can overcharge you, fail to provide the promised services, and/or damage your case in a way you might never recover from. Whether you are seeking to file a petition for a visa or green card, trying to avoid deportation, or applying for some other immigration benefit, make sure you get the right sort of lawyer on your side. Here are some tips to avoid the shadier types of practitioners.

Avoid Lawyers Who Approach You at USCIS or Other Immigration Offices

A few “high-volume, low value” immigration attorneys prowl the hallways of immigration offices attempting to solicit business. This is not considered ethical behavior by the legal bar. Besides, any good immigration attorney is probably going to be too busy practicing immigration law and working for their clients to spend their time rounding up new clients this way.

Make Sure You’re Dealing With a Real Lawyer, Not a “Visa Consultant,” “Notario,” or “Petition Preparer”

Would you ask a neighbor to replace your heart valve, or your doctor to fill out your tax forms? Hopefully not. For the same reasons, only an actual, practicing lawyer should be trusted to handle your immigration matters. Unfortunately, many non-lawyers; even some well-meaning ones, who don’t recognize how complex this area of law really is; claim to be capable of assisting foreigners who need help with the immigration process. In many cases, they offer little value other than a typing service. In the worst cases, they might literally take your money and run, or fill out your forms in wrong and dangerous ways without telling you the meaning of what they’re doing.

Research the Lawyer

You can probably find out a lot about your lawyer online: whether he or she is listed as a member of a state bar association (a requirement) and of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association or AILA (a professional organization that most of the best attorneys join); whether he or she gets good reviews on websites like Martindale; whether the lawyer has written professional articles for publication; and so on.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST IMMIGRATION LAWYERS

Looking for help on your immigration case? Wondering how to find the best immigration lawyers? You may be eager to get help immediately, but not all immigration lawyers are all they claim to be. It’s important to take the time to choose an excellent attorney that is qualified and motivated.

CHOOSE QUALITY

When trying to find the best immigration lawyers, it is best not to choose blindly and hire the first lawyer you come across. It is also much better to look for a high-quality lawyer that can handle your case like a professional than to choose the low-cost bargain option.

LOOK FOR A REFERRAL

When looking for an attorney for your immigration case, it is an excellent idea to dig into your personal network and find out if anyone you know has used an immigration lawyer in the past.

CONFIRM CREDENTIALS

When you identify a potential attorney for your case, you need to make sure they are the real deal. Find out what their credentials are and where their experience lies. While you can find out some of this information from the lawyer’s website or from them, you can use several other sources to verify attorney credentials.

INTERVIEW THE BEST IMMIGRATION LAWYERS YOU HAVE SHORTLISTED

Once you have created a list of the best immigration lawyers you could find and narrowed down the choices to who you may want to work with, you need to reach out to them.