Family law encompasses an array of important legal matters that span from divorce and the terms of the divorce to prenuptial agreements, protection orders, and beyond. Because family law addresses concerns that affect your family, it is a very personal branch of the law that calls for professional legal guidance. If you are facing a family law matter, you need an experienced Annapolis family law attorney in your corner, and knowing how to find the right attorney for you is key.
When many people consider the area of the law known as family law, their thoughts go to divorce alone, but family law is far more inclusive than simply divorce. Family law not only guides divorce in the State of Maryland but also focuses on each term of divorce, including:
Any one of these can become a sticking point in your divorce, but each of them – other than the division of your marital property – can also be addressed in terms of modifications after your divorce is finalized.
Issues related to child custody and child support often arise outside of marriage and divorce, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements help couples set parameters that guide the terms of divorce in the event it becomes necessary to do so. Protective orders can also play a critical role in family law, and the primary nature of each of these factors makes finding the right family law attorney for you a worthy endeavor.
If you need a family law attorney, there are several good ways to begin your search. Consider the following:
Family law cases naturally involve very personal matters, and this means you need to find a family law attorney with whom you are comfortable sharing sensitive information. If the family law attorney you’re considering does not inspire you to open up, you probably have some more searching to do.
Your family law attorney cannot protect your parental or financial rights if they don’t have all the information they need, which makes your full participation in the process of primary concern. If the family law attorney you’re considering fosters a safe working environment and exudes the warmth and professionalism that bolsters your confidence, you have likely found a good fit, which is the most important first step forward.
Once you’ve found a family law attorney who checks all the right boxes for you, it’s important to address the matter of availability. It’s great that you have found someone with whom you’re comfortable proceeding, but if this attorney will not be your primary contact or if it’s unclear who will be directing your case, your search may not be over.
You are hiring a family law attorney – not an entire firm – and you need to know that the attorney you’ve chosen will be available to work with you as you move forward with your case. Working with your attorney’s legal team, including legal assistants, helps to ensure that your case receives the timely attention it requires, but if your family law attorney is more of a front person who will be handing your case off to attorneys you’ve never met, it’s less than an ideal situation. If the attorney you’re interviewing doesn’t have time to handle your case from start to finish, it’s time to keep looking.
More often than not, family law cases are settled out of court, but some cases do require the court’s intervention. This makes talking to your prospective family law attorney about their litigation experience important. The ideal candidate will be well prepared to take your case to trial if it is warranted. Beware of any of the following scenarios:
If you can keep your family law concern out of the courtroom, it ensures that you and your divorcing spouse, ex-spouse, or your children’s other parent will retain your decision-making authority in the matter. While this is generally the best option, there are situations in which the only way to fully protect your rights involves going to court, and you need a family law attorney who is well positioned to do so.
The right family law attorney for you will take the time necessary to help you understand the strengths and challenges inherent to your case and how it is likely to proceed. Additionally, your attorney will seek your full participation and will help to ensure that you make your own well-informed decisions that continue to protect your rights and priorities.
Your family law attorney will help you explore any alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options, such as mediation, that might be available to you and that might help you resolve your case outside of court. Further, reputable family law attorneys take the time to help their clients explore ways to keep their legal costs down. For example, the more legwork you do in terms of gathering documentation and compiling necessary information, the fewer legal hours you’re likely to accrue.
Finding the right family law attorney for you and your case is an important matter, which makes cutting corners ill-advised. There are, however, several basic tips that can help guide your search and are sure to help:
Patrick Crawford is a compassionate Annapolis family law attorney who takes great pride in being there for all his clients and providing the experienced legal guidance they need. We’re here for you too, so please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at (410) 216-7905 for more information today. The Law Office of Patrick Crawford is ready to help you with all of your family law needs. Do not delay in seeking the right legal help for your case.