Hiring the right family lawyer during a divorce or custody case or while drafting a prenuptial agreement is imperative. If you’ve found yourself in a tough situation, you want to work with an attorney who knows their stuff. Otherwise, your paperwork and contracts may not be valid. You may find yourself feeling lost without a competent lawyer, and many people in this position find themselves needing to hire a new lawyer before their case has concluded.
Here are the top 5 warning signs that you may have made a mistake when choosing your family law attorney and how to avoid it in the future.
Lack of Communication
One of the most significant warning signs that you have hired a bad family lawyer is a lack of communication. Your lawyer should be responsive to your needs and answer your calls and emails in a timely manner. If your lawyer takes days or even weeks to get back to you, it may be time to find someone who will be more responsive.
If your lawyer is unprofessional in their behavior, it’s a warning sign that they may not have your best interests at heart. This can include showing up late to meetings or court, dressing inappropriately, or engaging in unprofessional conduct. If your attorney is ever rude to you, know that you don’t have to put up with that kind of treatment. There are plenty of lawyers who will treat you with respect.
Poor Listening Skills
A good family lawyer should have excellent listening skills. Your lawyer shouldn’t interrupt you frequently, fail to ask follow-up questions, or not pay attention to what you’re saying. Remember, they work for you, and your opinion is just as valuable as their legal experience.
Lack of Experience
Make sure to check your lawyer’s credentials and ask for references before hiring them. Almost anyone who’s been through a divorce or custody case has worked with an attorney, so check with family and friends to see if anyone can recommend an experienced lawyer. Hiring a lawyer who lacks experience in family law is one of the biggest mistakes a client can make. A lack of experience can lead to mistakes that could jeopardize your case.
Attorneys Fees: Red Flags to Consider
An attorney’s fees can tell you a lot about how they approach their job. A lawyer should have an hourly rate that corresponds to their level of experience and client ratings. If your lawyer is charging exorbitant fees or seems more concerned with making money than helping you, it may be time to find someone who will prioritize your needs over their own financial gain. However, it’s also not a good idea to hire the cheapest lawyer in town. In most cases, you get what you pay for. There may be a concerning reason why that particular lawyer is willing to work for such a low hourly fee – for example, they may have a past ethics violation or poor client reviews.
How to Avoid Hiring a Bad Family Lawyer
Whether you’re looking for a replacement for your current lawyer or are still searching for your first attorney, be sure to do your research. Check potential attorneys’ credentials, read reviews, and ask for references. Schedule a consultation with several attorneys to get a feel for their personality and ask about things like attorneys fees. Hiring a bad family lawyer can be a costly mistake so it pays to be conscientious.
If you’re looking for an Edina family law attorney with experience and a compassionate approach, consider Beth Barbosa. Beth is a divorce lawyer in Edina with over 20 years of high-profile experience as a family law attorney. Whether you’re dealing with a friendly divorce, a contentious custody case, or anything in between, Beth can help. Give her a call at 612-564-0137.