While it might not occur to some people right away, having a local custody attorney to help with their family law case is always going to be advantageous. Not only will it ensure that they know the laws and how the courts handle things in your location, but it will save you from having to drive across town just to get to your lawyer’s office.
Fortunately, when you’re wondering who is the best custody attorney near me, there are some tips to help you figure it out. There are a lot of factors on your list of what to look for in a reputable lawyer, but location is definitely high on that list. Here’s what you need to know.
Is It Important to Find a Custody Attorney Near Me?
Honestly, you can hire a lawyer from any location you’d like, so long as they’re capable and licensed to practice law in your city/county/state. There are benefits to hiring someone closer to you than not, but it’s not necessarily a “make or break” deciding factor. For example, if you find a lawyer that’s 20 minutes away that you feel more comfortable with than the one that’s just 10 minutes up the street, it’s worth the extra drive.
On the other hand, if you want the best custody attorney near me, you wouldn’t want to hire someone that’s based an hour or two away because you’d either have to travel to them or, in many cases, pay travel fees for them to come to you or meet you at court, etc.
What Other Factors Should I Consider?
Besides location, there are a few different things that should be on your list of what to look for in a custody attorney. You’ll want to take the time to find someone that will help you get a fair outcome. You should always get references from family members, friends, other parents, the courts, or even your State Bar Association. Some states and courts also have a network of dedicated attorneys to ensure that people have access to the most reputable lawyers.
Make sure that your custody attorney has experience in cases similar to yours. If they are more focused on spouses who divorce with no children or real assets, they might not be able to handle a more complex divorce case with custody issues, for example. This is also a good time to take advantage of those free consultations. But, use it as your chance to interview the lawyer and ensure that they can deliver on what you need.
Ask them about their experience, their fee structures, and other information about how they would handle your case. Allow them to describe themselves to you and explain their process so that you can get a better idea of what to expect. During this consultation, you’ll also have a chance to see if your personality vibes with the lawyer in question or if you feel like there’s some kind of rift that would affect your working together.
Ask About Travel and More
Of course, the best thing that you can do if you’re trying to find a great local custody attorney is to discuss their service area, travel restrictions or fees, and other elements. If, for example, you hire a lawyer from a statewide legal group, you’d want to hire one that’s either local to you or willing to travel at no cost to you.
You can also ask about other fees or if they will be willing/able to travel to the court for hearings. Any locations that may require their presence should be discussed and considered to ensure that you don’t incur a lot of excess fees just for having an attorney who can travel to you and with you throughout your custody case.
The Focus is On the Family
Ultimately, finding a good custody attorney is far more about finding someone who will ensure that the best interests of your entire family are taken into consideration than about finding a firm that’s close to home or even just local to the region. Distance matters to a certain degree, but your family and the outcome of your custody hearing matter far more. Consider how the lawyer will handle your case and whether they will be as committed as the courts to determining what’s in the best interests of the child or children.
This is why it’s a good idea to get referrals for a custody lawyer when you can. It allows you to talk to people who have actually worked with the firm to find out what the experience is like, how they work, and whether they focus on the children or they just try to put the other spouse through the wringer (the latter is not going to do anyone any good).
Knowledge is Power
You also want to ensure that you choose a custody lawyer that knows and understands the laws within your jurisdiction, as well as how to work with them and within them to ensure the best outcome for all involved. Put simply, they need to know how to get to that outcome you’ve discussed and they need to be able to explain that process to you in a straightforward, simple manner.
If you’re filing for divorce in Arizona, you’d want a lawyer familiar with Arizona family court laws. Of course, there also might be a difference between the laws in Phoenix and Mesa, for example, so location comes into play in a few different ways. Consider all of this and then choose the attorney that meets your needs and these criteria.
If you’re dealing with child custody issues or other family law matters, contact the Modern Law team. We can help you build a case that focuses on delivering the best outcome for everyone involved, especially for the children. We’ll help you explore the different custody options and figure out how to proceed with your case, no matter what the details may be. Call Modern Law today.