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Tips on How To Chose a Family Law Attorney

Finding a Good Divorce Attorney in Palm Beach County Doesn't Have to be Difficult

Choosing an attorney to handle your dissolution action is one of the most difficult decisions a person will have to make when faced with the decision to file for divorce.  If you have been served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage then you are under the time constraints of having 20 days to answer so you need to begin interviewing attorneys quickly.

Many people will ask for personal referrals.  Usually someone who has employed the proposed attorney will be able to speak to about their skills and ethics.  You will likely need to interview the attorney before you make any decisions.  It is advisable to interview more than one attorney.  

Some people prefer a female attorney, some prefer male.  You should have a rapport with your attorney and feel comfortable telling them everything about your case.  You should not feel judged or demeaned in any way.  You should get the sense that your attorney cares about you.  Some attorneys will want to know first what your assets are.  Generally your attorney should be more concerned about ferreting out the issues (time sharing, dissipation of marital assets on affairs) in your case.  You may want to consider whether or not you feel the person cares about you as a person.  Above all else, you should look for honesty about your case.  Avoid counsel who seems to be telling you what you want to hear, rather than being honest about the case and what results the lawyer could obtain.  Avoid anyone who tries to tell you that they have undue influence on the judge in your case.  No lawyer has influence on any judge by virtue of their personal relationship with that judge.

You may wish to ask questions regarding the lawyer’s professional relationship with opposing counsel, if applicable.  If the lawyers dislike each other, that may lead to more costs for the clients since they will be less likely to settle issues that SHOULD be settled by agreement rather than expensive court proceedings.  You should ask about your attorney’s litigation experience.  Lawyers who know the rules of procedure and evidence tend to fair better in court.  A lawyer who has experience in court will not be afraid to go to court if necessary.  

It is always better to try to settle cases at mediation, which is required in family law cases before going to court.  Mediation is a forum in which an impartial mediator hears the issues and helps the lawyers and the clients to resolve the case and reach a settlement agreement.  It saves money and time.  It saves the clients the trauma of a court battle.  It allows the parties to craft a detailed agreement that is tailored to their specific situation.  The judge has hundreds, sometimes thousands of cases and will not be able to give your situation the time and attention it needs to craft a resolution that deals with the specifics of your situation. Particularly in cases where there are children involved, you don’t want to wage a bloody court battle and then get stuck at the wedding of your child seething at your ex. If you have children together, you are forever tied to this person. The sooner you learn to place nice the better off the kids will be.

Settlement is not always an option.  Sometimes one spouse is being completely unreasonable even when advised as to what the court will likely do.  If this is the case you may have no choice but to proceed to hearing.  This often occurs when one person is not being advised correctly regarding the law or the other person is very angry and just wants to punish and be vindictive.  In that case you will want an attorney who has strong litigation skills and who is experienced in court.  It is often helpful for the client’s case if the attorney has experience in front of the judge on the case.  You must know your audience.  Some judges allow more time for hearings and some will end the hearing after the allotted time is up.  Every judge has slightly different rules and it is very important to follow the judge’s rules of court.  

Finally, you should go with your gut.  Do you feel like your attorney really cares about you and what you want?  This relationship you are entering should be one of trust, comfort and confidence.  You should feel comfortable telling your attorney anything.

Family Law Attorney - Palm Beach Gardens

For further information you may contact Attorney Marie Calla Quartell at:
Marie Calla Quartell, Esq.
Law Offices of Marie Calla Quartell, P.A.
4500 PGA Boulevard, Suite 304b
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
Tel. (561) 622-1090
Fax. (561) 624-9611
Cell (561) 358-6411


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