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How to interview a Texas family law attorney during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to have to adjust their lives, both personal and professional, to be able to continue on with their lives despite the many changes that our society has undergone. For attorneys, one of the major areas where we have been unable to continue on as we had been doing is in regard to meeting with potential new clients. When a person has a question regarding a legal matter related to family law, our law office does our best to go out of our way to meet with that person in order to answer their questions. 

Whether that person has questions about our law practice and the services we provide to clients or has particular questions about their own circumstances, we are happy to do what we can to answer their questions and provide them with helpful information. Many people have never come into contact with an attorney before and have relatively straightforward questions about how it works to hire an attorney and to have that attorney work on their behalf in a family law case. Unfortunately, there are negative stories and experiences that people have with attorneys that tend to negatively influence the way they speak about lawyers. As a result, many people who have had no experience with an attorney may have negative opinions about them. 

Or, you may be in a situation where your current circumstances regarding your family are not what you want them to be and you have questions regarding what an attorney can do to help you. Family law covers a very broad and diverse subset of scenarios, circumstances, and situations that can impact Texas families. Our attorneys are fortunate enough to be in a position where we are able to assist and advocate for clients from all over Southeast Texas. These folks are just like you in that they have problems associated with the family law matter and they need solutions in response to those problems. 

That is where our law practice comes in. The job of a family law attorney is to place the interests of their clients ahead of their own, provide advice that is designed to accomplish the client’s goals in an ethical fashion and to do so with professionalism and respect for that client and their family. I think that most people come to understand that an attorney's job is to remove rather than create tense situations. Contrary to popular belief, attorneys do not seek to instigate fights or animosity between parties in order to create a more financially desirable situation for themselves. 

On the contrary, an attorney seeks to diffuse potentially combustible situations in order to solve problems for you that much quicker so that they can move on and help another person who is also facing family law difficulties. Think about yourself in your own job- Are you looking to solve problems in the US be able to spread your attention out to multiple matters that are important? Or do you prefer to bog yourself down and problems associated with one particular situation thus removing your attention from all of the other important matters on your plate? I think it is safe to say that it is the former rather than the latter option that you would choose. 

How should you prepare to meet with a family law attorney?

There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of: a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. I think the meaning of this phrase is that while the road in front of you may be long sometimes the most difficult step to take is the first . Once you get momentum behind you there isn't anything you can't accomplish. I think the same applies to a family law case. Sometimes, the most difficult step in the process is just to admit that you have a problem in your family and that you need someone's help to help you find a solution to that problem. 

You do not have to hire an attorney to represent you in a family law case. There are online resources , law libraries, and other places with information that you can access in order to represent yourself in a family law case. Keep in mind though that most people do not change their own oil, fill their own cavities, or even mow their own lawn. The reason being is that there are professionals who can do the job for you in a more cost-effective manner. Hiring an attorney is no different. I like to talk to people about how they should view the situation as a temporary investment into a long-term feature where you and your family are better off. 

When you are considering whether or not to hire a family law attorney you should take a few steps to prepare for any meeting with that lawyer. First, I cannot recommend enough that the attorney you meet with for your family law case needs to be a family law attorney. A family law attorney is an attorney who practices primarily or solely in family law. Southeast Texas has no shortage of attorneys but has very few attorneys who have a great deal of experience practicing family law. Our law practice, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, is one of those law offices. 

It is crucial that you be able to speak with an attorney who has handled cases like yours before and as preferably negotiated settlements or even taking a case to a trial if need be. A family law attorney is equal parts advocate for the client, negotiator, and courtroom advocate. You should ask questions of your attorney regarding each of these phases. If he or she has never set foot in one of these areas then you should likely move on to a new attorney. There is nothing wrong with a young attorney or an inexperienced attorney gaining valuable courtroom time but I would not recommend that you be the person to provide them with that experience. 

Sit down before you meet with the attorney to plan out some questions to ask him or her. An attorney will give you an overview of the legal process and how filing a family law case works in Southeast Texas. However, he or she does not know anything about your circumstances which you do not tell him or her period so, it will be helpful for you to be as thorough as possible in your explanation of the circumstances and be willing to ask questions about information discuss with the attorney. If you do not understand something that the attorney talks with you about be sure to ask him or her to clarify. 

Begin to collect information and documents before you hire your attorney 

if you have a reasonable belief that you will be filing a family law case over the course of the next few weeks, I would recommend that you begin to collect paperwork in other documents now rather than waiting. Many times, people hold the belief that they will have all the time in the world in weeks to come to search their hard drives or physical file cabinets for documents at the your attorney may need to help you with your case. However, I find that much of the time clients are mistaken as to the location of documents or do not have the correct documents that the attorney actually needs. Therefore, rather than relying upon your memory has to the location of a document I recommend that you begin to search for them now. It will save you time and it will save you money. If you're family law attorney’s staff has to help you locate and organize documents, it will end up costing you money. 

You can begin by collecting basic financial documents like tax returns from the past few years, bank statements, retirement plan accounts, and anything else that you think is relevant to your case. In the event that you have to leave your house and no longer have access to financial documents I would recommend that you scan an email she yourself any documents that you believe may be purposely misplaced or hidden from you by your ex-spouse in the future. This way you can have them handy it won't have to worry if you lose access to your home even for a temporary period of time.

Finally, come to any meeting with a potential family law attorney with questions about that attorney’s experience level. Again, there is nothing wrong with hiring an inexperienced attorney. However, if it's your family his well-being is at stake I would not recommend you hiring an attorney who lacks experience in family law. This is true even if that even if that attorney offers too take your case for less money than another attorney who has more experience. Cutting corners and saving money do not have to go hand in hand. It is often times that in experienced, more expensive family law attorney is able to help you complete your case faster than a less experienced attorney. This will help you save money in the long run. 

Deciding upon an attorney to represent you in your family law case

The decision to select an attorney to represent you in your family law case should not be taken lightly. You should feel comfortable being with your attorney in she feels that the attorney is paying attention to things you say and is answering your questions with respect and decency. If the attorney looks down the bridge of their nose at you then I would recommend you not hiring that attorney. Think about the qualities that you believe are important for an attorney to possess if at all possible do not make any concessions on those qualities and choose a lawyer who best embodies those qualities.

Once you have selected an attorney to represent you in your family law matter you will be asked to pay the attorney for their services. Many if not all family law attorneys charge clients based on a retainer agreement. A retainer quite literally retains the attorney’s services for you and your claim. You should read through the attorney’s contract before signing it and understand what your responsibilities are in the attorney client relationship. 

Once a client hires our office, I like to talk to that client about how best to contact me and how best I can contact him or her. Provide your attorney with your schedule so that he or she knows when the best time to contact you is during the week and how to do so. Some people like to receive information via text message. Others don't even have a cell phone that will make text messaging easy and would prefer to do email or phone. Every client is different, but your attorney should be as flexible as possible when it comes to communication. In a family law case changes can occur with great regularity, so it is important for your attorney to be able to reach you regarding your case. 

Questions regarding hiring a family law attorney during the COVID-19 pandemic? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan 

On behalf of the attorneys and staff with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan I wanted to thank you for choosing to spend part of your day with us here on our blog. It is our pleasure an honor to be able to share information with southeast Texans just like yourself who are deciding how to best move forward with their particular family law case. There is no rule of thumb on how to best proceed with the family law case in situations can vary dramatically from family to family. Allow our experience family law attorneys to help provide you the information about your case and our law practice. 

Please contact us today with any questions you might have about the information contained in today's blog post. Are licensed attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week. A consultation can occur over the phone, in person or even via video. 

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