How to Hire a Philadelphia Child Custody Attorney
If you are involved in a Philadelphia child custody dispute, you will want the counsel of a Philadelphia child custody lawyer. Philadelphia custody attorneys can use their expertise to help you navigate through the family court system and the custody process.
You may not have hired a lawyer in the past. It's important to remember that not every Philadelphia custody lawyer will be a good fit for your case. This article will explain how to identify and select Philadelphia child custody attorneys.
What to Look for in a Philadelphia Child Custody Attorney
There are a handful of factors you will want to consider when hiring a Philadelphia child custody lawyer.
The first factor is experience. Does the lawyer have experience with child custody cases? Does he have particular experience with child custody cases in the Philadelphia area? These are important questions to ask when initially meeting with the attorney.
Another factor to consider is the attorney's legal fees. You do not want any surprises when the bill for the attorney comes, so it is important to ask questions about his costs up front. Ask him what type of fee arrangement he uses, and what the specific fee is. When is payment expected and in what form? Can the lawyer provide an estimate of the total cost to resolve your custody dispute?
You will also want to judge the lawyer based on his legal strategy. After you've had an opportunity to tell him about your child custody case, ask him about his thoughts. What are the possible outcomes of your case? What are your case's strengths and weaknesses?
Finally, it's important to find a Philadelphia child custody attorney you feel comfortable speaking to. You may be working with this attorney for some time, so it's important that you can trust him. After all, he will be one of your biggest advocates in court and may be a source of support throughout your custody dispute.
How to Find Prospective Philadelphia Child Custody Lawyers
To begin your lawyer search, turn to people you know. Ask friends and family members who have gone through custody disputes about the attorneys they used. Were they satisfied with their lawyer's services? Would they recommend him? If so, get the attorney's contact information.
You can also use a site like Attorneys.com. Whether you live in Germantown, East Falls, City Avenue or another part of Philadelphia, Attorneys.com can put you in touch with a child custody lawyer in your area.
To begin the process, fill out the form on this site or call 1-877-913-7222. After answering a few questions, Attorneys.com will connect you to at least one Philadelphia child custody attorney. This attorney will contact you within two business days, or you can reach out to him at your own convenience.
Setting Up the Initial Consultation
After you have found at least one attorney you wish to speak to, set up the initial consultation. This is a preliminary meeting where you can describe your situation to the lawyer, learn more about the attorney and ultimately decide whether to hire the lawyer.
To prepare for the consultation, you will want to gather all relevant documents, such as any temporary orders, information regarding your finances and information regarding your living situation.
You will also want to write down some questions in advance to ask the attorney. These questions should focus on the lawyer's background, case management practices, legal strategy and legal fees. If you have any special requirements, such as foreign language skills or disabled accessibility, ask about those as well. Understand that the lawyer may discuss legal strategy with you, but he won't give you specific advice.
Finally, remember to bring pen and paper so you can take detailed notes.
After the Initial Consultation
Immediately after the consultation with the Philadelphia child custody lawyer, write down your initial thoughts. It is good to do this as soon as possible so the experience is still fresh in your mind.
Once you've met with one or more attorneys, assess each one. Questions to consider include:
- Who had the best set of skills for your case?
- Who had a reasonable legal strategy?
- Who had reasonable legal fees?
- Who was the easiest to talk to?
If you are still undecided, ask each lawyer for names and contact information of past clients who can serve as references. Contact these clients and ask them:
- What did they like about the lawyer's services?
- What did they not like about the lawyer's services?
- Did they find his fees reasonable?
- Would they recommend him?
After you have interviewed at least one attorney and check references, you should be able to make a hiring decision. Hire a Philadelphia custody attorney and move forward with your case.