How to Select & Hire an Oregon Child Custody Attorney
Oregon child custody disputes are emotionally draining because so much is at stake. If you’re going through an Oregon divorce and children are involved, you’ll have to address child custody. Custody cases can also occur between two parents who were never married. In either instance, the situation is complicated, and you’ll benefit from having someone on your side who understands Oregon child custody laws. To find such a lawyer, follow the guidelines detailed in the remainder of this article.
How to Find Oregon Child Custody Attorneys
Oregon child custody cases are handled by Oregon family law attorneys.
If you're going through a divorce, you may find that your divorce attorney also can handle your custody case. If you’re not starting from that point, begin your search by asking family members, friends, co-workers or anyone else you trust if they can recommend an Oregon child custody attorney.
Try to find a source who has firsthand experience with the attorney, so you can ask specific questions such as what the source liked and disliked about the attorney, if the attorney’s rates were reasonable and if the source was satisfied with the outcome of the case. All child custody cases aren’t the same, though, and your needs might be different from your source’s. Because of this, a recommendation isn’t enough; you’ll have to do some work to discover if the recommended attorney is the right one to handle your case.
For additional lawyers’ names, turn to Attorneys.com. Begin by calling 1-877-913-7222, or filling out the form on this site. Next, answer a few questions, and then Attorneys.com will connect you with one or more lawyers who have experience with Oregon child custody laws. You can call the lawyers yourself or wait for them to contact you in two business days or less.
Evaluating Oregon Child Custody Lawyers
Once you’re set with your list of attorneys, you can start scheduling your initial consultations. An initial consultation is the first meeting between you and a lawyer, during which you ask each other questions. The goal is for you to leave the meeting knowing whether you’d be comfortable having this lawyer represent you, and for the lawyer to know whether he’d want to take your case if given the opportunity. You can schedule initial consultations with as many lawyers as you’d like, as they’re usually offered at no charge.
To prepare for your initial consultations, gather any papers that might affect the custody case. This could include papers from your divorce, financial and insurance statements, and any documents that relate to the children’s situation.
Also, rather than trying to remember everything you want to cover in the meetings, write down a list of questions to ask each lawyer. They’ll be a mix of legal and general questions that will help you get to know the Oregon child custody lawyer better and determine if you’d feel comfortable working with him. Areas to cover include:
- The lawyer’s background and education
- His length of time in practice
- The types of cases he handles
- His understanding of Oregon child custody laws
- His experience with Oregon child custody cases similar to yours
- His fee structure, or how he charges and bills
- An estimate of his fees and expenses
- His assessment of your case, including any strengths and weaknesses as well as your legal options
Be sure to supplement these with questions in any area you feel will help you in your decision-making process. Take notes on the answers. You’ll be exposed to too much information to remember it without writing it down.
Choosing Your Oregon Child Custody Lawyer
After you’ve wrapped up your last initial consultation, you should be ready to make your decision. Some people find it helpful to add one final piece of information: References from the attorneys. If your case involves, for example, an Oregon divorce and children, you may find value in talking with someone who worked with one of the lawyers to resolve a similar situation. Knowing how the lawyers have performed in other custody trials in Oregon is also important.
When you have all the information you need, weigh the pros and cons of each attorney and see which one meets your requirements the best. Then make your final decision, hire the attorney and get started with your Oregon child custody case.