How to Hire a Chicago Custody Lawyer
In Chicago, custody disputes are often contentious and emotional events that impact the parents and the children involved. As a result, you need to hire a lawyer who concentrates his practice on child custody issues.
A qualified and experienced Chicago divorce and custody lawyer understands the city’s court system and child custody laws. A lawyer can devise a legal strategy that best fits your needs. An attorney also can help ease any anxiety stemming from custody battles. This article will detail how to find and hire an attorney.
Identifying Potential Lawyers
First, you need to assemble the names of qualified lawyers to handle your case. There are several ways to do this.
You can ask friends, family members or business associates for a referral. They may know of someone who has hired a child custody attorney in the past. Personal recommendations are always valuable since you can obtain great feedback about the lawyer and their work style. Sources outside of a particular law firm also provide insight into how well a lawyer works with clients.
The internet is another great resource for finding a lawyer in Chicago. Attorneys.com can put you in touch with a Chicago child custody attorney. To begin, just fill out the form on this site or call 1-877-913-7222. After answering some basic questions, you will receive the name of at least one child custody attorney in the are. Then you can contact a lawyer directly, or the lawyer will call you within two business days.
Interviewing Potential Chicago Custody Lawyers
After identifying at least one potential Chicago child custody lawyer, schedule an initial consultation. This introductory meeting lets you get to know the lawyer and familiarize him with your case. This meeting should also help you decide whether you want to hire the lawyer. Most initial consultations are free, but it’s not a bad idea to ask the lawyer if he charges a fee when making an appointment.
The initial consultation is the most important step before hiring the right child custody attorney. So take time to properly prepare for these meetings. First gather any relevant information and documents that pertain to your child custody case.
During the consultation, ask the lawyer questions about your case and the lawyer’s expertise. Key questions about child custody cases include:
- How long have you been a child custody lawyer?
- Have you ever handled a child custody case like mine?
- How is child custody determined?
- What is your strategy for handling a child custody case like mine?
- What types of child custody are available?
- What determines who gets child custody?
- Who establishes child visitation schedules?
- How long do child custody cases take?
- What is your billing rate?
- What types of court-related costs will I have to pay?
In addition, ask lawyers for references. If the initial consultation does not help you make a clear decision as to which lawyer to hire, their references could be the deciding factor.
Take notes during the consultation or write down your impression of the lawyer while the visit is still fresh in your mind. Ask yourself questions:
- Did the lawyer listen well?
- Did he understand your child custody problem?
- Could the lawyer explain child custody laws as they apply to Chicago?
- Did the lawyer speak in layman’s terms when talking about the law?
- Do you think the lawyer’s charges reasonable rates?
After the Initial Consultation
After meeting with at least one attorney, review each lawyer’s qualifications. Ask yourself if the lawyer understood your case. Did he answer all of your questions? Do you think he could help you gain custody of your child?
If you still haven’t picked an attorney after reviewing their qualifications, call the references. Speak to previous clients and ask them about their working relationship with the child custody lawyer. Were they satisfied with their experience? What were the pros and cons of working with this particular lawyer Would they work with the lawyer again?
Remember, if you are in a Chicago child custody battle, child custody rights should be your lawyer’s top priority. So ask questions before hiring a child custody attorney. Then move forward with your case.