In 2020, more than 630,000 couples in the United States got divorced. Divorce can be a complicated issue. You want to make sure you have a solid lawyer on your side throughout the process. But how do you go about finding a good family lawyer in Michigan?
There are a few steps you’ll want to take when you begin the search for a Michigan family lawyer.
1. Ask for Referrals
The first thing to do before hiring a lawyer is to ask for referrals. It can be hard to tell based on websites and online listings which attorneys will be a good fit for you. A great way to start making a shortlist is to talk to get recommendations from your friends and family.
Reach out to loved ones who have recently used an attorney and ask them which family lawyer helped them. Ask how their experience was with this lawyer and if they would work with them again. It can also be helpful to read online reviews. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that disgruntled clients are more likely to take the time to leave a review than satisfied ones.
2. Look for Experience
Once you have a shortlist narrowed down, it’s time to start taking a look at experience. You want to make sure your family lawyer knows what they’re doing and will get you the best results possible. Ideally, you want to work with someone who has at least ten years of experience, not a newbie to the field.
You’ll also want to check if your potential family lawyers have trial experience. Although it’s not anyone’s ideal scenario, sometimes divorces do wind up getting settled in court. If your situation ends up going to trial, you want to make sure your lawyer has the experience needed to represent you.
3. Find a Specialist
When you start looking at different family lawyers, you’re going to see some “general practitioners.” These lawyers practice in all areas of law, and family law may well be on that list. But it’s worth making sure that this firm has dedicated family law attorneys who specialize in that area of the law.
It’s best to opt for a lawyer who specializes in family law in Michigan, rather than covering many areas of practice. This attorney will be familiar with the latest developments in Michigan family law. You want that level of expertise on your side when it comes to negotiating the terms of your divorce.
4. Pick Someone You Trust
One of the most important factors in picking a family lawyer is actually one that’s hard to quantify. You need to trust your lawyer and be able to develop a good bond with them. You can hire the best attorney in the state. But if you don’t trust that they’re working for your best interests, all their experience won’t matter.
As you’re doing interviews with your potential lawyers, pay attention to how you feel around them. Do they make you feel relaxed and reassured, like they’re someone you could trust? This may not be the most important factor, but if you end up trying to choose between two close options, it can lead to trouble.
5. Talk Money
After you’ve found the lawyer you want to work with, it will be time to start getting down to the brass tacks. Sit down with your lawyer and ask them how much they’ll charge and what sort of structure they’ll use. Many lawyers charge by the hour, but some lawyers may offer a divorce “package” that sets a flat fee.
It’s also a good idea to check on what’s covered in your lawyer’s charges. Will they charge you their hourly rate for responding to emails and phone calls? Do they charge extra for postage and mileage, and if they offer a package fee, does that include research time or is that billed separately?
6. Discuss Details
It’s a good idea to discuss some of the details of how your case will get handled. For instance, some of the larger national law firms will assign your case to a team of lawyers, rather than one dedicated person. You may have many points of contact, depending on how complex your case is.
Figure out who your point (or points) of contact will be and how often you can expect to hear from them. Ask how you can get in touch with them, including whether they prefer phone calls or emails. And check on how they’ll manage unexpected problems when they show up in the case.
Find the Right Family Lawyer for You
Divorce can be a challenging process, and you want to make sure you have a strong family lawyer at your side as you navigate it. Start by asking family and friends for referrals, and then check the experience of your shortlist. Opt for a family law specialist if possible, and choose someone you trust to handle your case well.
If you’d like to find the right family lawyer for you, check out the rest of our site at croninlawfirm.com. We are courageous in our actions, confident in our abilities, and compassionate with our clients. Book a consultation with us today and discover superior service and attention to detail.