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How Do I Choose a Family Law Attorney?

Posted by Susan M. Gibson | Oct 15, 2022

Family law can involve many difficult and emotionally draining processes. You will have to live with many decisions made during these proceedings for the rest of your life.

Having the support and guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced family law lawyer can help get you through the process and protect your rights. Below are some factors to consider when choosing a family law attorney.

Is Their Main Focus Family Law?

Many firms have broad practice areas. One day they could be working on a criminal defense case, and the next, a family law case. You want an attorney that focuses solely on family law. They will have more significant experience than a firm taking cases from multiple practice area categories.

Look for One with Experience

It is essential to choose an attorney with experience handling family law cases as they have better insight into the application of those laws. They should also be experienced with cases like yours and the process you need.

You could have significant assets you want to be protected, or your ex may be threatening to take full custody of the kids. An experienced family law attorney has most likely handled both situations and is confident in court.

The Right Attorney Should be Available

As part of family law, divorce can often be most people's first encounter with the legal system. You may have several questions regarding the process and what steps to take next. You should feel confident that your attorney is available and guides you through each phase of the court process.

Set Clear & Realistic Goals

What do you hope to achieve from your time in family law court? Is it full custody, or is it retaining vital marital assets? Whatever the case, you should clarify that to your attorney, so they understand your goals. You should also be realistic about those goals and listen to your attorney's advice.

They will know what battles to fight and which ones to avoid altogether. They will give you a realistic outlook on your divorce and explain how the law applies to your case.

Know Whom Will Work on Your Case

Ask who else in the law firm will work on your case. Many firms will have other professionals with the firm working on the case in supporting roles.

Their skills and experience also impact the outcome of your case, and you should meet with them to have an honest discussion on how they'll handle your divorce.

Ask About Payment

Some attorneys require payment of a retainer. You will pay the attorney a lump sum at the beginning of the representation, and they will deduct their fees from this amount as they work on your case. Some attorneys require you to replenish your retainer once it is exhausted, and others will invoice you for time spent after the initial retainer is spent.  This will vary depending on the attorney you choose.

Your costs will be higher if you spend more time meeting with, speaking with, or emailing your lawyers. You should understand your lawyer's fees and determine how much you can expect to pay for your divorce.

What's Their Strategy for Handling Your Case?

No two cases are the same. Your family law attorney should develop a strategy that suits your case's specific circumstances and one that's also in line with your goals. They shouldn't leave you in the dark either. Your attorney should explain their plan and keep you informed throughout the process.

Watch Out for Any Red Flags

When choosing a lawyer, there are some red flags to look out for, like:

  • Non-responsive
  • Not revealing their plan for your case
  • Making empty promises they don't follow through on
  • Lack of legal knowledge

Call a PA Divorce Lawyer Today

Contact Gibson Family Law, PLLC today to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. We'd be glad to discuss your case's details and provide insight on the best approach to take for a favorable outcome. Contact attorney Susan Gibson by calling 267.337.6524 today.

About the Author

Susan M. Gibson

“Susan is an amazing attorney who is extremely knowledgeable, trustworthy, and collaborative.” Attorney Susan Gibson has exclusively practiced family law for almost 15 years throughout Philadelphia with a current focus in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. She became a lawyer because of her fascinat...

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Gibson Family Law is committed to representing you in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support/APL, and Alimony matters. Gibson Family Law also has extensive experience with Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, and family law issues specific to the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.