Why You Need A Divorce Lawyer

If perhaps you haven't before now, chances are that sometime in your lifetime you will have to hire an attorney. Thanks to my interview with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, here is a number of responses to common as well as worthwhile questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I need a legal professional?
ANSWER: If you have recently been served with a Summons and similar documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to seek legal advice right away. Papers filed in court that start a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve exact deadlines; skipping those deadlines could compromise your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" period that enable you to take into account the legal issues and possible resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as quickly as possible is advised.

2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney or lawyer in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other counties and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county wherein the matter is being litigated is important as that lawyer will have a level of comfort with the community courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in hiring a lawyer away from area wherein the matter occurs is cost of journey time. Some lawyers do not charge for travel, others offer a lowered rate or preserve a billable rate for all work conducted. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed place with their counsel (if retained) and a decided on mediator to try and solve all or a number 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 lawyer, and maintain the confidential aspect of the conference to inspire settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is usually required in just about every case filed in court and before a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What kind of attorney do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other industries, attorneys may specialise in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer services in a few specific areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle divorce cases, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle most matters. Some areas of law are very complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, such as worker's compensation. Any attorney should be able to talk about your specific issue, determine if he or she is prepared to handle such matters or advise you of the necessity to speak with another in a specialized area.

5. QUESTION: How am I able to make sure my lawyer is resolving my issues?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer monitors his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a affirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - monthly, quarterly, etc. You may also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that established, you're wise to routinely review the docket and see what activities have taken place by your counsel and the other party/counsel. You should also feel comfortable getting in contact with your attorney at intervals to learn the status of the matter, knowing you'll likely be charged for these interactions.

6. QUESTION: How do I select an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal issues 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 very best practice would be to study your area of need and research what lawyers are out there to help you. A recommendation from someone you know and respect can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an law firm but shouldn't be the singular reason counsel is picked. Look into the attorney's background of education, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be urged in this process. Self-help can be strengthening but can also reduce or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be contemplated with the same level of thought and consideration as that given to the choice of a physician, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

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