Selecting a Family Law Attorney in big cities and metropolitan areas, like Chicago and it’s surrounding suburbs, can be very difficult since there’s such a large selection of law firms to choose from.
Whether you’re in search of a family lawyer for a separation or divorce, a child custody or support issue, a domestic violence or restraining order, or even a prenuptial agreement, an experienced family law attorney will be able to assist you in one or all of these extremely emotional situations.
If you’re looking for a family law attorney, you’re probably going through an emotional time in your life which is why hiring an attorney that’s specialized in domestic relations (also known as family law), and is familiar with the ins and outs of the domestic relations court system in Cook County (located at the Richard J. Daley Center; 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602), will help you avoid costly errors that could unnecessarily cost you a lot of money during this emotional process.
Very difficult decisions need to be made during a divorce. These decisions are going to affect you, your spouse, your children, and even your animals, which means these cases will draw a lot of emotion from both sides and can bring the worst out of all parties involved. An experienced family lawyer can help you anticipate, prepare for, and avoid the common emotional and legal battles that will prolong the divorce process and run up your attorney’s billable hours.
How to Choose Divorce Lawyers in Chicago
The first way to find a family lawyer is also the most common and typically the most effective: Ask a family member or friend for a referral. A divorced friend is usually the best place to start but don’t forget that many of your happily married friends also have divorced family and friends that may have a family law attorney that they highly recommend.
One major benefit of getting a referral from a family member or friend is that you’ll be able to ask them about their experience, rather than having to rely on your first impression and online reviews. You’ll also get more information than usual about the firm’s overall process , as well as it’s billing process and costs.
To help decide if your friend’s attorney could work well for you, here are a few questions to consider asking:
- Did the attorney discuss your goals with you and keep them in mind throughout the entire case?
- Was the lawyer and their team easy to communicate with and get ahold of?
- Did their team explain things clearly and respond in a timely manner?
- What was their hourly billable rate? Did the firm use clerks or paralegals on more ministerial tasks to keep costs low?
- Were there ever any disputes about hours or payments?
- Did the attorney push for litigation (going to court) or also offer mediation or other less-costly alternatives?
- If your case was litigated, how was your attorney in court?
- Did the attorney keep the case on schedule?
- Would you use this attorney again?
It’s important to mention that just because a friend liked or didn’t like their family attorney doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same experience. Each family law case is different and the processes and outcomes depend on the specifics of each case which is why a face-to-face meeting with each possible attorney will be very helpful before making your final choice.
The second most common way to find a divorce attorney is to use Google, Bing, or other search engine. Some of the most common searches are “Best Divorce Attorney in Chicago” and “Family Law Attorney in Chicago”. These searches will usually point you in the direction of a law group that specializes in family law and has ample experience.
Even if you get a referral from a friend or family member, it’s still a good idea to search for that attorney’s reputation online. You will probably find reviews for that attorney and those reviews will either reinforce or completely contradict your friend’s experience, giving you more insight into how that attorney, and their firm, handle their cases.
Choosing a divorce attorney that fits your needs
Each situation is different and your particular situation may not require the best family law attorney in the Chicago area. For example, if you have a large estate, young children, and are going to be going through a very heated and highly contested divorce with your ex-partner, then it may be in your best interest to invest in the best attorney in the city. However, if you don’t have any large assets and don’t have children or property to fight over, then it may not be wise for you to invest heavily in an attorney.
If you, or your spouse, are even considering the possibility of a separation or divorce, it would be very beneficial for both of you to get a free consultation from an experienced family law firm so you both completely understand what you’ll have to go through to finalize the agreements and how much strain this could potentially put on you, your spouse, your children, and anyone else involved.