Finding the Best Marin County Family Law Attorney For You
If you are reading this post, you likely are dealing with some of the hardest times of your life. If you are searching for the best Marin County family law attorney, you might be preparing for a divorce or researching how to obtain child custody. The following post is intended to serve as a guide to help you find the best family law attorney for you.
#1. Client Devotion
The best family law attorneys are devoted to their clients. Although this may seem like a given, many family law attorneys see their clients as pay checks rather than human beings. Divorce can be very expensive. Clients are often going through the worst time in their lives. And being a family law attorney can be very difficult. Some family law attorneys either never cared or just burn out.
While you are searching for a Marin County family law attorney remember to trust your instincts. If you feel like your attorney doesn’t care about you or your family situation, you may be right. Although you do not have to be best friends with your attorney, it is important that they will fight hard for your case and care about your goals.
#2. Knowledge of the Law
Have you heard of the phrase “Young doctor, old lawyer”? When I first started practicing law, a senior lawyer told me about this phrase. What this phrase means is that you should choose a young doctor who is fresh out of medical school and an old lawyer that has learned the law. Although by no means should you select a Marin family law attorney based on their age, it is crucial that your attorney knows family law.
Beyond “knowing” family law, in selecting the best family law attorney, find someone intelligent. Family law is complex: it requires knowledge of tax law, the family code, the evidence code, and California Code of Civil Procedure. Smart attorneys do well in family law but not all family law attorneys are smart. Choose wisely.
#3. Able to De-escalate
Perhaps the most important characteristic of an excellent family law attorney is the ability to de-escalate conflict. Conflict can arise in many areas in family law. Besides the obvious conflict—divorce—you could get into a conflict with your attorney. An expert family law attorney is able to de-escalate the conflict and refocus the priority on the client and the case.
Another frequent area of conflict occurs between an attorney and opposing counsel. This type of conflict is dangerous. Although you may think that the best family law attorney will be aggressive, fierce, vicious and like a “pit bull” tearing through your spouse’s attorney and the court, the opposite is often true. Because of the nature of family law, your “tough” attorney likely will just cause a monstrous increase in your attorney fees. The more “vicious” a family law attorney is, often the more expensive and chaotic your life becomes.
#4. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people. In your process of selecting the best Marin family law attorney, emotional intelligence is an important trait.
Clients often seek a family law attorney to get a divorce, for child custody, alimony (also known as spousal support), property division, or to obtain a legal separation. Although family law attorneys often do adoptions, domestic violence work, or paternity actions, divorce and child custody are often a high source of business. Of course, all of these areas are very emotional and sensitive. If your attorney is able to manage his or her emotions and understand the emotions of people around him or her, your divorce will likely be quicker, cheaper and easier. Many people want a cheap divorce. By taking the time to find the best family law attorney with a high degree of emotional intelligence, you may save a lot of money in the end.
#5. Ability to Work Well with Opposing Counsel
Many people know that being an attorney is a difficult profession. In fact, a study conducted by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation determined nearly 21% – 36% of attorneys struggling with alcohol abuse. With alcohol abuse comes depression, anxiety, and many other health problems. The life of a lawyer may be glamorous on t.v. but the reality is often less pleasing. One source of this distress is dealing with difficult opposing counsel. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/workforce/white-collar/lawyers
Finding a lawyer that gets along with most other attorneys is essential. However, you must perform a balancing act when it comes to this criterion. Namely, as stated in Point #1, your lawyer has to be dedicated to YOU. Thus, finding a people-pleasing attorney is not the goal of this exercise. There is a big difference between a people pleaser and someone who is kind and respectful. Choose the latter of the two.
#6. Use a Family Attorney Familiar with Your Region
Another important consideration is that your family law attorney is well-acquainted with the region where your future case will be. It is important for your attorney to know the courts, the local rules, and other attorneys in the area.
The family law community in every county is different. Where is your attorney’s office? Are they familiar with the local courthouse? Have they practiced in the area for a while? Do they know other lawyers in the area? All of these questions are very important. An attorney who is familiar with your region will likely have better knowledge of the local laws and procedures and the personalities of the local judicial authorities.
Experienced Marin County Family Law Attorneys
At Warren Major LLP, we understand the complexities of divorce in the Bay Area. Contact us today at (415)286-5440 for a free consultation.
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