Family relationships can be complicated. When you or a loved one reaches a breaking point in your relationship or marriage, whether or not children are involved, you need a trusted Family Lawyer Arlington VA to explain your legal rights and obligations – but also to be understanding of the pain and process of ending a relationship and facing a new family dynamic.
Separation and Divorce
Our clients face separation and divorce for many different reasons, and in many different circumstances, so seek counsel from an experienced Family Lawyer Arlington VA before relying on what friends or family members tell you, or what you have seen on television!
For example, did you know that Virginia Law may require a separation of one year before divorce will be granted, depending on the circumstances? This is because Virginia Law seeks to support marriage and family, and tries to help families remain together.
Finances in Separation and Divorce are tricky, too – you need a skilled Family Lawyer Arlington VA to walk you through what spousal and child support you may be entitled to, or what you may owe.
Your situation is unique: there may have been adultery, cruelty, or desertion – grounds for divorce will guide you differently from uncontested divorce. All these factors may impact how your separation and/or divorce unfolds, and only a Family Lawyer Arlington VA can explain what may happen in your situation.
Custody and Visitation
Family Law becomes even more challenging when children are involved – so a Family Lawyer Arlington VA is critical in considering your family law matter from all angles. When parents are married, they have Joint Custody of their shared children, and no one questions that either parent may take care of or make decisions for that child.
However, when a couple is unmarried, separated, or divorced, who cares for the kids can become the central issue. A court order related to minors in custody disputes will dictate where the children need to be, and Virginia Law puts the best interests of the child at the forefront.
There are two basic types of custody in Virginia. Legal Custody describes which parent(s) or family member makes decisions for the child, and Physical Custody refers to who has the kids (where they live). Either type of custody may be split equally or unequally in some kind of joint or sole custody arrangement. If you are given a schedule of weekday or weekend time with the child, then you have Visitation.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Family Lawyer or Divorce Attorney
Regardless of which spouse made the decision, if your marriage is ending, you are likely considering retaining the services of a skilled divorce attorney to help you navigate through this complicated and emotional process.
There are some things you should keep in mind when beginning your search for a family. One of the most important is the type of lawyer you hire. There are many areas of law that attorneys can practice in, but each area have their own critical components that – if not adhered to – can result in a less than favorable outcome.
To put this in perspective, compare this to finding a physician. When you have a particular health issue, you seek out a doctor who specializes in that area. If you were having issues with you heart, you would go see a cardiologist because that is their area of specialty. You would not go see a dermatologist because, although they are a medical doctor, their expertise is about the skin.
The same is true with lawyers. If you are going through a divorce, you want a lawyer who is well-versed in the dissolution of marriage laws in your state. A lawyer whose entire practice focuses on personal injury may be a skillful lawyer, but they probably are not as knowledgeable about family law as they are about injury law.
The best way to find a divorce lawyer is to ask friends and family for referrals and go online to check out different client reviews. Once you have your prospects in mind, prepare a game plan that includes a series of interview questions to ensure you are hiring the best family or divorce lawyer to handle your case.
The following are examples of sample questions that may prove helpful when interviewing your prospective choices in Arlington VA. It is also advantageous to take notes at each interview to review later before making your final decision.
Experience and Knowledge
· What percentage of your cases involve family law or divorce?
· How many years have you been practicing these areas of law?
· Do you have litigation experience?
· What percentage of your cases have gone to trial?
· Do you have any special training that distinguishes you from other family lawyers or divorce lawyers?
Communication and Caseload
· With regard to current caseload, will you have time to handle my case exclusively?
· If not, who else will be involved in my case — associates or paralegals?
· Will I be able to contact you directly?
· If yes, what is the preferred method of communication?
· Will I be billed for telephone or email conversations?
Fees and Firm Expenses
· Do you require a retainer, and if so, can it be waived or satisfied in payments?
· What is your hourly rate?
· Does your rate change if we proceed to trial?
· Will I be responsible for fees and expenses of other members of your legal team?
· Based on my situation and in your estimation, how much will my divorce cost?
Contact May Law, LLP, Family Lawyer Arlington VA, to Answer Your Family Law Questions
At May Law, LLP, we’ve helped family law clients in Arlington VA and throughout Virginia for over 20 years with challenges faced in separation, divorce, child custody, visitation, domestic abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, protective orders for assault and battery on a family member, spousal and child support, premarital (prenuptial), marital and property settlement agreements, and all manner of issues that come before a family lawyer Arlington VA residents trust.