Divorce is a depressing time when you have to deal with emotional shock and the fear of losing your children and assets. The problems put stress on you and you can make the wrong decisions when overcome by your emotion. The following are 5 factors to consider when you are hiring an Arlington TX family law attorney.
- Set a Realistic Expectation
From the beginning, you must be serious with the lawyer that you want to hire. You must be realistic in your expectation. The lawyer has to represent you on the court for your divorce case. If you use your lawyer as a therapist, you are going to eventually waste a lot of money. He will charge you for having to listen to you venting on your personal life. You hire a lawyer with the purpose to resolve problems concerning the assets, and custody.
- Your Legal Options
If it is an easy divorce, for example, your spouse is amicable with you, you can hire a family lawyer with minimum experience. If the divorce is complicated, for example, your spouse shout threatens or act violently, you should find a stronger attorney who can help you fight for your rights. Also, you will want to ask yourself if you want to file the divorce yourself and only seek advice from the lawyer or you want the lawyer to handle the entire divorce process for you. The full scope attorney is best for divorce couples who disagree on major issues.
- Prepare the Documents
You will need to prepare the necessary documents as the lawyer will want to see them in the initial consultation. These documents are financial, personal, childcare, and assets documents. The financial documents should cover at least 3 – 5 years of data. However, if your marriage did not last that long, you only need to provide 3 years of data.
Some of the financial documents to prepare are income tax returns, bank statement, investment account statements, children bank account, and mortgage statement. If your spouse is secretive about the finance information, you can create a trick to extract the information. Besides, you also need to bring documentation as proof for abusive situations that led up to the divorce such as abuse, mental illness, and bullying.
- Do Research on the Family Law Attorney
After you’ve decided your legal options, you can start researching a qualified family law attorney by visiting the website of the local bar association. You can also use Google to do research. Usually, the law firm has a website and you can dial the number on their website to ask for more information. The family law attorneys usually practice by areas and locations. By reading the biographical information, you can determine whether the lawyer practice family law exclusively.
- Interview Several Attorney Candidates
The next step is to interview potential attorneys. Many attorneys waive the fees for the initial consultation. However, just to be sure, you should first ask the lawyer whether they charge a fee for the initial consultation. In the first meeting, you will want to bring all the relevant paperwork. You can ask about the rate of court appearances and travel time. You can then consider for yourself which attorney suits your budget based on the charges they quote you. The attorney should be able to explain things clearly and draft a plan that can help you attain your goal. Most importantly, you must be able to get along with the attorney since you will be communicating with him.