Why You Need A Divorce Lawyer


Assuming you haven't previously, probably sometime in your life you'll have to hire a lawyer. Thanks to my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, what follows is a list of answers to typical as well as worthwhile questions.

1. QUESTION: How can I be certain my attorney is working on my case?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer contract should include a statement of how the lawyer bills his clients - up front, quarterly, etc. You can also track your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that available, you're wise to periodically review the docket and see what activities have transpired by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. You should also feel at ease contacting your attorney at intervals to learn the status of the matter, understanding you will likely be charged for these interactions.

2. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney at law in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many attorneys practice in other jurisdictions and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county in which the matter will be litigated is crucial as that attorney will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in hiring an attorney away from area wherein the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some attorneys don't charge for travel, others give you a lowered rate or maintain a billable rate for all work performed. Discuss that question with each lawyer consulted.

3. QUESTION: How do I know if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have been served with a Summons and comparable documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should really endeavor to seek out legal assistance right away. Papers filed in court that commence a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve specific deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, reduce or avoid your recovery. Some matters by statute involve a "pre-suit" period of time that enable you to consider the legal issues and potential resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as quickly as possible is recommended.

4. QUESTION: Exactly what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed local with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and solve all or some of the concerns involved. Mediators should be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial in between the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential nature of the conference to inspire settlement and resolution. Usually the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements might be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is usually required in just about every case filed in court and prior to a trial is held.

5. QUESTION: What kind of law firm do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, attorneys may specialise in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer you services in a few precise areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle divorce cases, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle most matters. Some areas of law are extremely complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any attorney should be able to talk about your specific issue, determine if he/she is prepared to take care of such matters or inform you of the necessity to speak with another in a specialised area.

6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney at law?
ANSWER: Legal dilemmas are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and tend to be just as complex. To protect your rights and remedies, the ideal practice would be to research your area of need and research what law firms are around to help you. A recommendation from somebody you know and admire can bring a personal element to the consideration to hire an lawyer but really should not be the sole reason counsel is chosen. Look into the attorney's background of schooling, experience and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help could be empowering but can also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be contemplated with the exact same level of thought and consideration as that directed at the choice of a medical doctor, accountant, financial expert or therapist.

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