If you are dealing with a family law matter, hiring a lawyer will be crucial to protecting your rights and making sure that your voice is heard throughout the legal process.
What should you expect from your interactions with the attorney you’ve selected? What questions do you need to ask, and what should an experienced attorney be asking of you? Hiring an attorney to handle your legal matter is only step one, making sure you’ve hired the right attorney and knowing what to expect from them is what counts. You need to be able to trust that your attorney and their team are experienced in handling matters like yours and will go the extra mile to protect your rights. You want an attorney that you can depend on during this time of transition in your life.
At Halligan LLC, we’ve put together this guide with some of the most frequently asked questions about what you can expect from a family law attorney. While it covers many of the issues that you likely have on your mind right now, you may have even more specific questions about your case. We encourage you to give our firm a call at (720) 608-2361 to schedule a consultation to get to know you and the facts surrounding your particular case.
After you hire a family law attorney, how often should you expect to hear from them about your case?
The frequency of contact with your attorney will largely depend on the complexity of your case and what stage of the legal process it is in. A good rule of thumb is that you should hear from them at least once a week at a minimum. If you contact them and they aren’t available, then you should be able to talk to their paralegal immediately and/or get a return call from your attorney within 24 hours. Now, if it is an emergency, you should expect to hear back from an attorney immediately.
The legal process has many timetables and deadlines; how should my attorney be communicating this type of relevant information to me?
You hear this time and again, communication is the foundation of a stable relationship. That is true for clients and attorneys as well. Communicating deadlines and essential information are critical to managing a case and retaining trust between a client and an attorney. Typically, a paralegal will be keeping in contact with a client about specific deadlines for financial disclosures, discovery, and trial deadlines. If you are confused about something or don’t understand a piece of information, ask. It’s our job to keep you in the know.
What are some of the things that my attorney should be preparing me for?
Your family law attorney should be taking steps to prepare you for every part of the legal process. For example, mediation is required in all domestic relations cases in Colorado. Your attorney will help you to identify your assets, evaluate them, and ask you questions about the division of property, support, and allocation of parental responsibilities (if applicable).
If you are preparing for a trial, your attorney should help prepare you for what that means. Your attorney or their team should communicate with you about documents, exhibits, witnesses, and everything that goes into a trial situation. Not only that, but a knowledgeable attorney will also help you prepare for what to expect and offer advice about clothing choices and demeanor. You should be walked through the entire process.
How often should I be seeing an invoice from my attorney?
Some attorneys will bill monthly, and that can leave clients shocked and overwhelmed by what they are seeing. It is harder to sort through a giant once monthly invoice and understand what it all means. At Halligan LLC, we invoice our clients a minimum of twice per month. There can be a variety of ups and downs when it comes to family law cases and the preparation that goes into them.
Do I need copies of the documents that my attorney files on my behalf?
A family law attorney should be providing you with copies of all documents filed in your case – whether filed on your behalf, by the other party, by an expert, or by the court. Anything filed in your case should be in your hands within 24 hours. In some cases, if the paperwork is filed during regular business hours, you should have a copy that same day. If an attorney is filing a substantive document on your behalf, it is often the case that you should review it prior to the filing.
Should I know what my attorney is saying to the opposing counsel/opposing party?
At Halligan, LLC, we believe that you should always be aware of what your attorney is communicating in writing to the other side. That’s why we always BCC our clients on all communications, just to make sure that you are always aware of what is being discussed on your behalf.
What are some red flags to be on the lookout for when it comes to interacting with my family law attorney?
You want to make sure that the attorney you hire has specific experience handling complex family matters. Some lawyers may practice in a wide variety of different areas, make sure they have substantial experience in and focus exclusively on family law – that’s what you are hiring them for after all.
Other things to keep your eye on would include:
- missing essential deadlines
- sloppy paperwork
- poor communication
- not returning phone calls/emails
- not setting realistic expectations
Another thing to be aware of and may be considered a red flag is attempting to push you toward acting on emotion and not on logic. We understand that you are in a vulnerable and emotional place, and as lawyers, you hire us to make sure that we can be objective, logical, and act in good faith on behalf of your best interests.
How Halligan LLC Can Help
Whether you are thinking about or going through divorce, have separated from your child’s parent, need to modify your current orders, or want to challenge/appeal a court order, this is likely a time of significant transition and uncertainty. At Halligan LLC, our goal is to answer all of your questions and help you feel more comfortable with the process ahead.
Our firm is focused solely on family law and helping individuals and families in Colorado resolve family legal matters, so you know you are working with an attorney who is experienced and focused on the circumstances surrounding your specific case. We offer a supportive and compassionate legal counsel while fighting for your rights with fierce determination. We want to be your dedicated advocate.
Contact Halligan LLC at (720) 608-2361 for your free consultation. We’ll listen to you, understand the facts surrounding your case, and help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.