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Choosing the Right Family Law Attorney: Factors to Consider

by | Aug 1, 2023

Going through a divorce or custody battle can be a stressful and emotional time. It would be best if you had a family law attorney who understands your situation and will fight passionately on your behalf. But not all lawyers are created equal. Choose the wrong one, and you could end up with disastrous results that impact you and your family for years to come.

That’s why researching lawyers before you choose one is so important. When looking at divorce lawyers, evaluate their experience, reputation, communication, and ability to meet your needs with care.

At VHD Law, our lawyers have decades of combined family law experience. We take pride in building solid relationships and are constantly at getting good results for our clients. If you want a family law lawyer you can trust, VHD Law is a great option.

Understanding Your Specific Needs

No two divorces or family law cases are exactly alike. The specifics of your situation should dictate the type of legal help you require. Considering the following can help determine what you need from a lawyer:

  • How complex your assets are and dividing them
  • If minor children are involved
  • Any abuse allegations
  • If you prefer mediation or litigation
  • How much conflict do you expect

Perhaps you only need a lawyer to review a proposed settlement. Or maybe your situation requires an aggressive litigator to fight for you in court. Understanding and articulating your needs allows you to zero in on lawyers with the right experience and temperament.

The family law attorneys at VHD Law listen closely to understand each client’s unique needs. We then make custom legal plans tailored to those needs so we can best protect our clients.

Evaluating Relevant Experience and Expertise

Family law covers a lot, including divorce, child custody, spousal support, domestic abuse protection, and more. When looking at lawyers, confirm they have substantial experience with your case type.

Verify they are board-certified in family law, which requires extra training and judge/bar recommendations. Check their background handling similar cases. A lawyer who only does friendly divorces may not be best for messy custody litigation.

VHD family law lawyers focus on specific family law areas, so we can provide maximum expertise. Our firsthand experience provides unique insight into these cases’ emotional and financial complexity.

Examples of Family Law Expertise:

  • Divorce: We handle all aspects of the divorce process, including asset division, spousal support determination, and negotiating separation agreements.
  • Child Custody: Our lawyers are experts at establishing custody and visitation arrangements in the children’s best interests. We appear in court to litigate custody if needed.
  • Complex Asset Division: For high net worth divorces, we evaluate and divide extensive property, businesses, investments, and equity compensation.
  • Domestic Abuse Protection: We help clients obtain restraining orders and other protections in situations involving domestic violence or child abuse allegations.

Examining Reputation and Past Outcomes

A lawyer’s track record speaks volumes. Spend time researching their reputation and the success of previous cases. Verify they have a clean disciplinary history free of ethics violations through databases like Wisconsin’s Office of Lawyer Regulation.

Look beyond flashy websites to genuine client reviews on sites like Google and Avvo. Give the most weight to testimonials from those with situations like yours, not just general five-star ratings. Note how previous clients describe their lawyer’s communication, responsiveness, and record of getting reasonable settlements or trial wins.

VHD Law’s Linda Vanden Heuvel’s near-perfect Avvo rating based on in-depth reviews showcases our client satisfaction. Our proven lawyers have handled thousands of Wisconsin family law cases over decades.

Clear Communication Matters

Navigating stressful divorce or custody cases often feels overwhelming. You need a family law attorney who calmly explains complicated issues in understandable terms. That clarity sets realistic expectations for the legal road ahead.

Prioritize lawyers who practice active listening. They should also answer all your questions and avoid confusing legal jargon. Ensure you will have direct access to your family law lawyer if needed between meetings. Also, verify who handles day-to-day questions when your lawyer is tied up or unavailable.

At VHD Law, we use technology to stay connected with client preferences. Our lawyers personally return every call, email, and text promptly. Even nights and weekends when needed during active litigation. That keeps our clients informed to make intelligent decisions.

Budgeting for Affordable Legal Fees

Divorce can significantly impact finances, especially with lawyer fees. Be upfront from your first meeting about your total legal budget. Most family law lawyers use hourly, flat, or retainer fee models.

Hourly rates generally run from $100-$500+ per hour, depending on experience and reputation. Paying by the hour isn’t always cost-effective for lengthy trials. Yet, it can work well if you only need general guidance or help finalizing agreements.

Flat fee structures charge one set price for pre-defined legal services over a set timeframe. It allows maximum predictability. Make sure to confirm what is included (and not included) beforehand.

Retainers require paying advanced lump sums into a trust that family law attorneys draw from over time while working on your case. Pay special attention to how fast original retainers get used up and how/when additional retainers must be replenished.

We’re very transparent about legal fees. After an initial free consult and case review, we provide written estimates for total representation costs. You’ll have all the information you need for sound financial planning.

Choosing a Lawyer You Trust

Don’t underestimate the importance of feeling genuinely comfortable with your divorce or family law attorney. You need someone who instills confidence that they can handle your case adequately based on rapport, experience, and commitment. If your prospect talks over you, seems distracted, or makes unrealistic guarantees, keep looking!

The tough cases VHD Law attorneys handle often span months or years during emotional periods. We become trusted partners by blending kind guidance and tireless efforts to protect client interests.

Book a Free Consultation Today

Going through family court can feel scary. The outcome dramatically impacts your life for years. That’s why picking the right lawyer is so important – don’t take it lightly.

By thoroughly researching lawyer reputations, expertise, communication, and compatibility, you can feel confident moving ahead. When you need dependable family legal guidance, contact VHD Law. Our experienced Wisconsin lawyers have helped thousands through turbulent times with proven success.

With VHD Law by your side, you and your family will end up in the right place.

Written by Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C.

Family Law

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