What Does Divorce Lawyer Mean?

In case you haven't by now, chances are that sometime in your own life you'll have to employ a lawyer. Thanks to my interview with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, what follows is a group of answers to basic along with worthwhile questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I will need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and associated documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should endeavor to seek legal guidance immediately. Papers filed in court that start a lawsuit require responses that involve particular deadlines; skipping those deadlines could compromise your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some issues by statute involve a "pre-suit" period of time that allow you to consider the legal issues and possible resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is recommended.

2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other counties and other states, based upon on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county wherein the matter is being litigated is crucial as that attorney will have a level of comfort with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One thing to consider in retaining legal counsel away from area wherein the matter occurs is cost of journey time. Some attorneys do not charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work performed. Discuss that question with each lawyer consulted.

3. QUESTION: Exactly what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed area with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and resolve all or some of the problems involved. Mediators should be unrelated to all participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial in between the parties and their counsel, and maintain the confidential nature of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the cost of the mediation evenly but other arrangements might be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is usually required in just about every case filed in court and prior to a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What kind of lawyer do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other sectors, attorneys may concentrate in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer services in several specific areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are extremely complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, as in worker's compensation. Any lawyer can go over your particular issue, determine if he/she is prepared to handle such matters or advise you of the necessity to seek advice from another in a specialised area.

5. QUESTION: How can I be certain my lawyer is resolving my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a confirmation of how the attorney bills his clients - month-to-month, quarterly, etc. You may even track your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you're wise to routinely review the docket and see what events have transpired by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. It's also advisable to feel at ease contacting your lawyer at intervals to determine the status of the matter, knowing you will likely be billed for these interactions.

6. QUESTION: Precisely how do I select an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal subjects are as vast as those in other sectors, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and may be just as complicated. To protect your legal rights and remedies, the best practice is to research your area of need and research what legal professionals are accessible to assist you. A recommendation from someone you know and regard can bring a personal element to the plan to hire an law firm but really should not be the exclusive reason counsel is chosen. Research the lawyer's background of education, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help can be strengthening but can also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with exactly the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the selection of a medical doctor, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.

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