Facing any type of legal matter can be incredibly daunting, especially when the situation you are facing will likely impact you and your family for years to come. When you are preparing for any type of family law matter in Springfield, IL, hiring the right attorney to represent your interests can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case.
If you need legal representation for a family law matter in Illinois, there are several steps you should take to generate a list of potential attorneys to represent you. It is also vital to develop a series of questions to ask potential attorneys that will allow you to gauge their suitability to handle your case.
How to Find the Right Attorney
There are many law firms serving clients throughout the Springfield, IL area. Start your search by looking for local attorneys who have solid case results in family law. Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they have personal recommendations. Once you have a list of potential attorneys, start looking at their online reviews on as many review platforms as you can find. These steps should allow you to cultivate a solid list of potential legal representatives.
Before you commit to legal representation from any attorney, it is wise to take advantage of a consultation offer; many attorneys throughout the Springfield, IL area offer free or low-cost consultations to potential new clients. A consultation is an opportunity for an attorney to evaluate a client’s claim and determine its likelihood of success. It also provides a prospective client with the opportunity to gauge the attorney’s legal strategy and confidence in the case.
Basic Questions to Ask a Potential Lawyer
There are several questions that any individual should ask of an attorney before agreeing to their legal counsel, regardless of the type of case. Be sure to always ask a few key questions about an attorney’s experience and suitability to handle your case:
- Find out how long the attorney has practiced law. Many new attorneys are practicing throughout the country who are incredibly talented legal representatives, but there is no substitute for experience. It is always best to choose the attorney with the most experience.
- See if the attorney has any areas of special interest. Many attorneys specialize in certain types of cases. For example, probate law technically falls under the purview of family law. However, many attorneys specialize in probate litigation and many others who will not provide this type of representation. Make sure the attorney you are considering accepts cases that fall within the specific practice area of your own case.
- Ask the attorney how they bill their time. Many attorneys who practice civil law offer contingency fee billing, which means the client only pays legal fees when they win their case. However, some family law attorneys may offer different forms of billing. Before you commit to their representation, learn how your attorney will bill their services.
These are just a few basic questions to help a potential client learn more about the attorney. If you need legal representation for a family law matter, it’s essential to ensure the lawyer you choose has a solid record of successful family law representation behind them. Additional questions you should consider asking that are more directly related to family law can also help you make a more informed decision about your legal representation:
- Ask the attorney for their honest, professional impression of your case. A good attorney should be direct and concise when it comes to their interpretation of your case’s validity and strength.
- Ask a potential family law attorney whether they can identify any potential challenges or advantages that could come into play during your case. Experienced attorneys can quickly identify these variables and use this information to their clients’ advantage.
- Review the attorney’s past experience with family law. Ask a potential lawyer about past cases they have successfully handled that were similar to your own. It’s vital to ensure the attorney you select has a wealth of experience handling cases similar to your own.
- Find out how long the attorney expects your case to take to reach a conclusion. The longer your case persists, the more expensive it will be in legal fees. A good attorney should be able to offer a clear and reasonable estimate of the time they will need to invest in your case.
These are just a few examples of the questions any family law client must ask before agreeing to an attorney’s legal services. No matter what type of family law matter you are preparing to face, we can help. Whether you expect a standard divorce process or are bracing for an intense child custody dispute, it is also essential to develop additional questions about specific elements of your unique family law case.
What Can My Attorney Do for Me?
Unfortunately, some people mistakenly believe that hiring an attorney is unnecessary, especially when their legal matter appears simple and straightforward at first. The reality is that any legal issue has the potential to escalate into a very complex litigation battle unexpectedly, and even the most basic of legal cases will touch on complex legal statutes, case law, and procedural law. Additionally, navigating the courthouse’s rules and filing requirements for your case can be more difficult than you might expect, and even a small error or late paperwork submission could jeopardize your claim.
Hiring an experienced Springfield, IL family law attorney is the best method of avoiding these serious issues. Your attorney will not only analyze and assess the strength of your case and your likelihood of success but also clarify the legal statutes that are most likely to come into play during your legal proceedings. One of the most important legal services your attorney can provide is handling courthouse proceedings and required filings on your behalf so you can focus on work, your family, and your everyday responsibilities.
The right attorney can make a tremendous impact on your family law case. Whether you are preparing to divorce, need assistance with prenuptial contract drafting, or wish to adopt a stepchild, a family law attorney can help you understand the legal processes behind your case and help you approach the situation with greater confidence.