Choosing the Right Family Lawyer In Arizona: A Checklist of Key Factors

Facing family law disputes can be harrowing and nerve-wracking. You may not know how to find a good family lawyer in Arizona or where to start. It cannot be easy to make sense of all the legal proceedings involved. And it is hard to know what is worth fighting for and what you can afford to take on.

If you’re contemplating divorce, you should think carefully about what’s best for you, your spouse, and your children. Because emotions often run so high in divorce proceedings, you may feel pressure from your family or friends to decide who will take care of your children or how you will divide the property. Read to learn how to choose the right family lawyer in Arizona.

Does the Lawyer Posses Experience In Family Law?

Family law is a broad area that includes divorces, child custody disputes, property divisions, alimony, and other issues related to domestic relations. If your situation falls within this category, find an attorney well-versed in these areas of law.

If you’re looking for a lawyer specializing  in family law, here are questions you can ask them to help you ensure they’re right for your case:

  • How many years have you been practicing family law?
  • What kind of cases have you handled in the past?
  • Are you a member of the Arizona State Bar?
  • Do you have experience with this type of case?
  • Can I see a list of your past clients and their results?
  • What is the length of your typical case like this one?

Does the Attorney Listen to You?

If your attorney keeps talking over you and doesn’t seem interested in what you say, it’s probably time to look elsewhere. The lawyer should focus on helping you reach the best agreement for your case. That means they need to be listening attentively and reacting appropriately when necessary.

Do You Feel Comfortable Talking to the Lawyer?

You might be searching for a lawyer based on their reputation or experience, but if you don’t feel comfortable with them, then it’s unlikely they’ll help you through this difficult time.

While it’s not always easy to tell how the relationship between client and attorney will go, there are things you can ensure that you are making the right choice:

  • Does the lawyer respond quickly? If they don’t answer their phone when they say they will, or if they don’t reply to your emails promptly, then consider that an indicator that they will not be responsive when you need them most.
  • Do they ask questions? If your lawyer doesn’t ask enough questions about your case and what led up to it, how will they represent you best?

Is the Family Lawyer Fee Structure and Billing Practices Transparent and Fair?

Ensure your lawyer will charge you a reasonable flat fee for the type of case you’re hiring them for or if they bill you hourly.

If you’re paying by the hour, ensure the agreement includes an upper limit. If it does not, ensure you discuss with your lawyer whether they expect to spend more than a certain amount of time on your case. Also, ensure any fees charged by other professionals involved in your case—for example, a paralegal—are delineated and billed to avoid confusion about what is being paid by whom.

Does the Attorney Have a Track Record of Achieving Client Goals?

Many lawyers advertise that they are “experienced,” but experience doesn’t necessarily mean success. Look at statistics and reviews from past clients to ensure your attorney has met goals. Also, ensure they have a track record of achieving results for clients with similar circumstances as yours.

For example, If their goal was to gain custody of their children or keep them safe from an abusive partner, did the attorney use evidence-based practices when working on these cases? What kind of results did they achieve? How long did it take? Were there any problems with communication between the parties involved in these cases? If so, how did it affect the outcome?

Is the Attorney Good at Handling Your Type of Case?

Family law is a vast and complicated field. In Arizona, hire a lawyer with experience dealing with your specific situation. For example, if you’re in a same-sex marriage, your attorney should be familiar with Arizona’s laws on same-sex marriage. And if you’re filing for divorce or seeking alimony, they should have ample experience handling divorces and alimony cases.

You can find out exactly how experienced your prospective family law attorney is by checking their history of cases and speaking to former clients about their experience working with them.

When searching for a family attorney in Arizona, ask if they can address all your particular needs. By being thorough in your search, you stand a greater chance of finding the right family lawyer.