A family attorney, or family law lawyer, is a legal professional who assists people that need help with family law legal issues. A family lawyers who specialize in representing clients during family court proceedings. They often handle a wide range of different matters and have knowledge of various state and federal family laws. Family court lawyers, also referred to as family law attorneys, often interact with other persons and agencies depending on the situation.
For example ,they may work closely with child services departments, employers (when dealing with spousal or child support), child support collection agencies, and adoption agencies. Some family law attorneys may specialize in one specific area of family law, such as divorce, child custody, or adoption.
Family law covers many different topics, including:
- Child custody/visitation
- Divorce/legal separation
- Spousal and child support
- Domestic violence
- Other issues like name changes and adoption
Family attorneys often have generalized knowledge in the field of family law. In some cases, they might specialize in a particular area or sub-field in family law.
What Do Family Attorneys Do?
Unlike other types of attorneys, such as criminal attorneys or tax attorneys, family law attorneys tend to have a role similar to a mediator. This is because a lot of family law issues are resolved through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods. However, lawsuits and court trials are still common in the area of family law.
Family law attorneys perform tasks such as:
- Filing lawsuits and legal claims
- Reviewing legal documents
- Researching federal, state, and local laws
- Meeting with social workers, such as child adoption agents
- Assisting with family mediation
- Representing clients as they attend family court sessions
How Can I Find a Qualified Family Attorney?
Finding a qualified family law attorney is not always an easy task. Some people choose to do searches through phone books, attorney listings, or bar associations. While these may be suitable methods, they often do not provide much feedback regarding the attorney’s professional background or performance.
A more efficient way to find a family law lawyer is to use LegalMatch’s online matching service. LegalMatch.com operates an online client-matching service in all areas of law and in all 50 states. Simply post your family law case online and you will be matched with a qualified family law attorney in a short period of time. The matching service is free, confidential, and easy to use.
How Much Does a Family Law Attorney Charge?
A family lawyer charges an average of $250-$300 per hour. This amount can vary significantly based on factors such as geographical location, level of experience, the complications of your case, and the success rate of the attorney. Attorneys with high success rates with many years of experience can charge in excess of $650 per hour.
Attorney fees may be adjusted based on the level of representation they provide. For example, a family lawyer may offer:
- Simple consultation – The lawyer will listen to the issue and offer advice.
- Limited representation – will only handle certain aspects of the case. For example in a divorce case they will only handle the divorce itself but not child custody or visitation. This may be the case if the parties are able to agree on some issues but not all.
- Full representation – The lawyer handles all aspects of the case, from start to finish.
The cost of a family law attorney will increase with the amount of time it takes the lawyer to resolve the case. A family law attorney may also offer to take the case for a flat fee. For example, the average amount for a lawyer to charge for preparing a prenuptial agreement is $700-$800.
Do I Need a Family Attorney?
Family issues can be very complicated and the laws can vary by state. It is important to consult an experienced family law attorney, especially if the issue requires filing papers in court of if extensive negotiation is necessary. When it comes to things like child custody or division of property, a family lawyer will help you achieve the best possible outcome.