Finding The Right Family Lawyer In Arizona: It’s Not At All About The Price
What To Look For When Choosing An Attorney In Arizona
When you’re looking for a family lawyer, price may be the most important factor in your decision of who to hire. However, going with the cheapest option could yield negative results, and cost you more in the long run. Before scheduling your consultations, read this to learn what to look for in an Arizona family law attorney and what to ask during your consultation.
How Do Family Lawyers Charge For Their Services?
Most attorneys don’t offer standard flat rates for family law cases. With the varying levels of complexity in family law matters, this would be impossible to do fairly. That’s why family lawyers usually require you to complete a consultation before they can provide you with a quote for legal services. Many family lawyers charge a fee before ever speaking with potential clients. Others may offer free consultations, either held by phone or in person.
Your attorney will keep track of the time spent working on your case, and calculate your fees using their hourly rate. Attorneys with more education, experience, etc., may charge a higher hourly rate than a less experienced family law attorney. Your attorney will require an up front payment known as a retainer. A retainer is essentially a deposit for a lawyer. The retainer is usually equal to several hours’ worth of your attorney’s hourly rate. Some of your fees may be returned to you, if your attorney spends less time on your case than the hourly value of your retainer.
Do You Need A Family Lawyer In Arizona?
Some issues clearly fall within the realm of family law- divorce, child custody, child support, establishment of paternity, grandparents’ rights, and more. We often see litigants who confuse estate planning and probate issues for family law issues. It may also be wise to consult with an attorney with multiple specialties if certain circumstances are present in your case. For example, a family attorney with criminal law experience may assist in family proceedings where domestic violence and orders of protection issues are present. An AZ family attorney with bankruptcy knowledge may be helpful when spouses looking to divorce are also struggling with debt.
Family Law Experience. It Matters!
While experience in other areas of law can be useful, you also want an Arizona attorney who has experience specifically in family law. Family law experience in a specific jurisdiction means a knowledge of relevant state law, local judges, tactics of opposing counsel, and more. Don’t rule out a newer attorney who has previously worked as an assistant or paralegal in family law. You should focus more on specific practice areas and jurisdictions.
The Office & Staff Of The Family Law Firm
Some lawyers’ advertisements make it seem like they are a lively, fully-staffed law firm. Then, when you call, it may be a lawyer’s personal cell phone number, or even an answering service. While you should definitely aim to find a lawyer who will be actively involved in your case, there are some tasks in family law matters for which you won’t want to pay an attorney’s hourly rate. Routine legal procedures can be handled by a trustworthy assistant or paralegal, which can save you significant legal costs. Not only that, but an attorney must have several clients- and therefore attend several hearings- to be able to charge reasonable fees.
Keep in Mind, when an Arizona family attorney has competent staff, you can receive case updates while your attorney is at court for another client, and have the confidence that your attorney will have the same respect for your case. Do your research, pick an established family law firm to assist you with your case.
Your Lawyer’s Reviews & Reputation
Your attorney’s reputation matters with more than just former clients. Family lawyers can leave an impression on judges that can follow them for years. Phoenix Family lawyers will frequently work against lawyers from separate firms as well. Would you rather have an attorney with a reputation among other family lawyers as lazy and disorganized, or as a formidable opponent? Study up on the firm you are thinking about choosing. Read their reviews. Take your time and make the right choice when seeking the best AZ Family Lawyer.
A Competent Family Attorney & Client Satisfaction
A good way to tell how you’re going to feel after working with a family lawyer is by checking reviews from their former clients. Your attorney’s candor can help you feel more confident in your case, which may translate to positive outcomes. On the other hand, an incompetent or disrespectful attorney will just add extra stress onto your plate. The best people to tell you about a family lawyer’s client satisfaction is the clients themselves. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when reading client reviews. Often, litigants will feel frustrated when they hear news they don’t like, and shoot the lawyer messenger for informing them of unfavorable laws, evidence analysis, etc. Also, satisfied clients may be hesitant to post reviews of family lawyers because of the private and sensitive nature of their services.
Should We Try Divorce Mediation?
In appropriate circumstances, mediation can save both parties considerable time and money. In mediation, a neutral third party helps two litigants, usually spouses, come to a legally binding agreement on how to resolve their relevant issues. The spouses can also bring their Arizona divorce attorneys to this mediation, if they have them. While the bill for several hours of mediation will seem hefty, it can be far less than months or years of family law litigation.
Payment Plan Options
Even the most affordable attorney can be out of reach for some if they require significant up front payment. In addition to hourly rates, you should look at how much your attorney will require as payment for a retainer, and what kind of monthly payment options they offer. Some attorneys may be more flexible than others, especially if you have steady employment or other proof that you will be able to pay your fees.
Where Should I Look For The Best Arizona Family Attorney?
You may have friends, coworkers, or loved ones who have been through a family law matter and can provide you with a trustworthy and affordable referral. You can also check the state bar website for the jurisdiction in which your case will take place. Online services like Yelp and Google use ratings systems to provide recommendations, and include reviews from former clients. Other services, like Nolo and Avvo, are targeted more towards lawyers.
Our Arizona Family Lawyers Are Looking Forward To Assisting You!
If you’re looking for an affordable family law attorney in the Phoenix area, schedule a free consultation with our firm. Our AZ Family Law Lawyers offer great service, and results, at a great price. We also offer flexible payment plans to work with your budget. Call at (480) 263-1699 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation today.