Do You Need A Divorce Lawyer?

Assuming you haven't previously, chances are that sometime in your lifetime you will want to employ a lawyer. Thanks to my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, below is a listing of answers to common along with important questions.

1. QUESTION: Do I want to hire an attorney at law in the county where the case occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other jurisdictions and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter will be litigated is important as that attorney will have a level of comfort with the local courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One thing to consider in retaining legal counsel away from area wherein the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers don't charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work carried out. Talk about that question with each attorney consulted.

2. QUESTION: How may I make sure my lawyer is handling my case?
ANSWER: Every good attorney accounts for his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a affirmation of how the attorney bills his clients - once a month, quarterly, etc. You can also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that available, you're wise to periodically review the docket and see what changes have taken place by your counsel and the other party/counsel. Also feel comfortable getting in touch with your lawyer at intervals to ascertain the status of the issue, understanding you'll likely be billed for these communications.

3. QUESTION: Precisely how do I pick an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal difficulties are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and are generally just as complicated. To safeguard your legal rights and remedies, the ideal practice would be to investigate your area of need and research what attorneys are accessible to work with you. A recommendation from someone you know and regard can add a personal element to the plan to hire an law firm but really should not be the only reason counsel is picked. Look into the attorney's background of schooling, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but may also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a legal professional should be considered with the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the choice of a doctor, accountant, financial consultant or therapist.

4. QUESTION: How do I know if I need a legal professional?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to find legal guidance now. Papers filed in court that begin a lawsuit require responses that involve exact deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could compromise your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" period that enable you to take into account the legal issues and probable resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is advised.

5. QUESTION: What is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed place with their counsel (if retained) and a decided on mediator to try and solve all or a number of the issues involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial between the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential structure of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Usually the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is generally required in every case filed in court and prior to a trial is held.

6. QUESTION: What kind of attorney at law do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other industries, attorneys may specialise in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer you services in several precise areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are extremely technical, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, such as worker's compensation. Any attorney can discuss your specific issue, determine if he/she is qualified to handle such matters or inform you of the need to speak with another in a specialised area.

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