Amid the myriad of decisions you will need to make in your family law case, one of the first will be selecting the lawyer that’s right for you. Choosing an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and confident in is a major first step. Maintaining a good rapport and high level of confidence and respect in your counsel is equally important, particularly because he or she may have to deliver bad news at some point in your case.
Here are a few tips for working well with your family law attorney through final judgment or resolution of your case.
Always be prepared when meeting with your attorney, particularly during your initial consultation. If your case involves child custody or child support matters, bring copies of your tax returns and at least 3 months of pay stubs, attendance and other school records, as well as any court documents that may pertain to that child. If you have a divorce case, bring documentation regarding your assets, a copy of the divorce pleadings and any information relevant to the breakdown of your marriage.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
While you may not know everything that you do or don’t want with regard to the outcome of your family law case, you should have a good idea. Are you seeking primary physical custody of your child, or simply increased visitation rights? Do you want alimony or spousal support? For how much, and why? Having a general idea of the answers to these questions will help you and your attorney set strategy goals as well as marshal realistic expectations for your case.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
You should always be honest with your family law attorney, even if what you share is negative or potentially hurtful to your position. This will enable your attorney to consider strategy changes to help mitigate harmful effects, and possibly use the information to your advantage. By being forthright with your lawyer, he or she will be able to avoid last-minute surprises and to better anticipate opposing counsel or the court’s response to your circumstances.
Remember, what you tell your attorney in confidence regarding your case is protect by attorney-client privilege.
It may be your attorney that does most of the leg work and communications with the court and opposing counsel in your case, but ultimately the outcome of your case will affect your life, not your attorney’s. For this reason, stay involved in your case and make sure to ask all of your questions. If you don’t understand something, ask your attorney to clarify. If you don’t know why certain evidence needs to be discovered or why your attorney isn’t revealing certain information, ask! Staying involved and informed will put your mind at ease and help you understand exactly what is happening in your case. These things are critical if you want to remain confident in your attorney and want to work well with him or her.
Whether it is a divorce case, support case, or child custody/visitation case, you need the help of a qualified family law attorney who knows the law in your jurisdiction. The DiPietro Family Law Group has teams of family lawyers with decades of experience representing clients in all types of family law matters in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.
Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (888) 530-4374.