Questions to Ask When Hiring Boston Child Custody Lawyers
If you are divorcing or splitting up with your children’s other parent, talking to Boston child custody lawyers is probably one of your biggest priorities right now. There is a lot at stake when creating a child custody agreement, and you need to find a knowledgeable lawyer to guide you through the process. By asking many questions, you will be able to find the family law attorney who is right for you.
Child Custody Laws in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, courts will decide child custody based on the best interests of the child or children. Child custody can take several forms, including sole legal custody, shared legal custody, sole physical custody and shared physical custody.
A judge will ultimately have to approve your family’s arrangement, which is why it’s so important to work with Boston child custody lawyers who focus on this area of the law.
Interviewing Boston Child Custody Lawyers
You will need to carefully interview Boston custody attorneys to find the one with the right experience, education, background and approach. You will also need to consider how much the attorney charges. The initial consultation is your chance to ask the attorney questions and form an opinion about whether you should hire this particular lawyer.
You should come to the first meeting with a list of questions to ask. You should also bring something to write with, so you can take notes and refer back to them later. Remember that the lawyer probably won’t be able to offer specific legal advice at this first meeting—once you hire an attorney, you can start coordinating a strategy.
Instead, you should focus on questions that will help you get to know the attorney. Be ready to ask questions about many different topics, including:
Possible child custody arrangements
- What are the options for child custody for my family?
- Can you walk me through the process, so I understand how the court system works in child custody cases?
- How long have you been practicing child custody law?
- Where did you go to law school and when did you graduate?
- Do you practice other types of law, or do you focus on child custody matters?
- Considering the age of my children and my relationship with their other parent, how many cases like mine have you handled?
- Are you a member of any bar associations or other professional organizations?
Working with the lawyer
- Will I be working with you, or with someone else at the firm?
- If there are other attorneys at the firm who will be working on my case, which one will appear in court with me?
- Can I meet everyone involved with my Boston child custody case?
- When I have questions, whom do I talk to?
- How can I get hold of you, and how long will it take you to respond?
- What type of rate do you charge?
- How much is your fee?
- What is included in that fee and what is extra, such as court costs?
- How much of a retainer, or up-front fee, will I have to pay when I hire you?
- How often will I be billed?
- Can you give me an estimate of the total cost to handle my case?
Talking to references can give you a valuable perspective, since these clients have actually been through a child custody case with the lawyer. Some of the questions you can ask references include:
- What was it like working with this lawyer?
- What did you like about him, and what didn’t you like?
- Would you hire him again to represent you in a custody matter?
Once you have met with Boston child custody lawyers and talked to references, think about their strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the lawyer, if he has the right experience and if he charges reasonable fees.
Your life and the lives of your children will be significantly affected by the child custody arrangement. You need to ask many questions of Boston custody lawyers to make sure you find the one to represent you.