Not all attorneys practice family law, as it is usually so stressful and emotional for the parties who need the lawyer. A family law attorney helps with divorces and all their attendant issues, with child custody disputes arising after divorce has taken place, and with child protective proceedings where the state removes an abused child from parental care and places him or her in foster care. The abusive parents’ rights may be terminated and the child eventually adopted.
Some couples go through their divorce without hiring any lawyers. Some use mediation. Others, probably the majority, find that they can’t work together well enough to work out the painful issues of child custody, property division, or spousal support, so they each hire a divorce lawyer.
If you are finding yourself in the unhappy situation of needing a divorce attorney, be careful to choose an experienced and highly reputed one. You probably don’t need the most expensive and high-profile attorney, but neither would you want the cheapest one you can find. Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers if they can recommend a proven one. Collect some possible names, and schedule free initial consultations with them. That way you can meet them and get a sense of how well you could work with them.
If you have a small marital estate, the stakes are not as high. But if you have a large marital estate, or a family business, or even some abuse issues, be careful to hire a lawyer you are confident will handle those things well and fairly.
At Jacoby & Meyers, we have a very large amount of family law experience and are familiar with the financial and emotional issues that can come up for resolution. We offer a free initial consultation where you can ask questions, expect honest and clear answers, and get a good sense of how we work with our clients.