If you’re considering a divorce, you may also be considering hiring a divorce lawyer to help you through the process. Finding the right divorce attorney, however, is easier said than done. If you’ve never worked with a lawyer, you may have no idea what to expect. Family law and divorce cases are their own unique area of the law, which can make it even more challenging to know if you’re making a good choice when choosing an attorney. Let our Katy divorce lawyers take the guesswork out of hiring an attorney with these questions you should ask a potential lawyer:
- Do you specialize in divorces, or are they only one aspect of your practice? You’ll want to know more about their experience with divorce cases, so it’s important to find out how long they’ve been handling divorce cases, what percentage of their practice is devoted to divorces, and if they have any certifications, such as being a certified family law specialist.
- What is your strategy for my case? You’ll want to work with an attorney who will work towards your goals. If their strategy won’t meet your goals, keep looking. You also should find out how long they estimate it will take to resolve your divorce.
- How will you communicate with me? Get the details on how long it should take for a phone call to be returned, who will be calling, who you can call, and how you can contact your attorney in the event of an emergency.
- Who else will be working on my case? Many law firms have multiple attorneys, paralegals, assistants, and administrative professionals working there. Find out who you can expect to be involved in your case, what they will be doing, and what their experience is. It also doesn’t hurt to find out if you can meet them.
- How will I be charged? Learn more about their hourly rates, how they will bill you, and whether you will be billed for time spent talking to paralegals, legal assistants, or others in the office. You should also ask about their retainer fees.
- What costs, besides attorney fees, do you expect during my case? Filing fees, court costs, document handling, investigators, forensic accountants, psychologists, mediators, and other costs can all add up quickly, so it’s important to know what you may be paying for ahead of time.
- What’s your best estimate of the cost of my divorce? Beware of attorneys who give you a low price, since they are trying to just get your business. An honest lawyer should explain to you how different factors can affect the cost and how they may affect your overall divorce expenses.
- Do you permit me to negotiate directly with my spouse, or are there other tasks I can handle to reduce my costs? While you are hiring your lawyer for their expertise and insight, you also do need to consider your budget. They may have certain tasks you can carry out or recommendations to help you save money.
- Based on your current knowledge of my case, how do you think a judge would rule? This can be another thing that is difficult to predict, but your lawyer may be able to provide some insight, especially if they are familiar with the local family court judges.
- Can you help me understand the tax impact of the decisions I will need to make? Divorce means a lot of decisions, and you should have an understanding of the long-term effects of these decisions.
At the Adams Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping you and your family make it through this difficult time. Our compassionate and experienced legal team is on your side, and our Katy divorce attorneys will fight for your best interests.
Ready to get started? Contact our firm to schedule a consultation by calling (281) 391-9237.
Summer is nearly upon us and school is ending soon. Your children may be excited about more free time, but summer can pose unique child custody challenges for parents. Here are the do’s and don’ts of child custody plans over summer to help you and your co-parent have a stress free summer.
Do’s of Summer Co-Parenting
- Do make your summer parenting plan in advance. If your parenting plan doesn’t already address the summertime, it’s time to sit down with your co-parent and develop a plan for the months your child is out of school. Once approved by the court, this modification will be responsible for dictating your custody schedule during the summer months.
- Do communicate with your co-parent. Summer trips, camps, and activities can be fun for your family, but it’s important to communicate these plans with your co-parent early. Notify them of vacation plans, summer activities, or summer-only changes that may occur before they happen. If you and your co-parent struggle to communicate, a mediator can help.
- Do consider your kids’ feelings. Even small changes can feel like big changes when you’re young, so don’t forget to take this into account when making summer plans. Seeing one parent less, staying in a different home, or other changes can be uncomfortable and can cause an emotional reaction. Talk to your children about your plans and help them understand what will happen so they feel secure. If they’re older, they may want to help you plan or have plans of their own you may consider.
Don’ts of Summer Co-Parenting
- Don’t take it personally if your child misses their other parent. If your summer plans are dramatically different than the rest of the year or you’re planning a trip away, it’s possible your child may take some time to adjust and miss their other parent. This is natural, so you shouldn’t feel hurt if they seem to miss the other parent more than they’re excited to see you. You can help ease their worries by planning fun activities but also planning plenty of time to talk with their other parent on the phone or on a web-calling program like Skype.
- Don’t make legal decisions without talking to your attorney. When making changes to your normal parenting plan, it’s important to remember that custody is a legal issue. Even if you have informal arrangements with your co-parent, the formal custody orders are what will be enforced if there is an issue. Be sure to consult your lawyer before making any changes or if you foresee any issues.
- Don’t skip your support payments. You may have physical custody of your child more during the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can skip paying child support. Unless you have a modification, you are still legally obligated to pay what has been ordered, whether your child is living with you or not for the summer. If you want to request a modification, talk to your attorney.
Planning ahead can help your family enjoy summertime without the stress, and Adams Law Firm can help! Our experienced Katy family law attorneys can assist you with your child custody and child support modifications for the summer.
Schedule a consultation to discuss your case today. Call (281) 391-9237.
Summer trips can often create cherished memories with your children, but planning one can be a challenge when you share custody of your children. Don’t give up on your dreams of a camping trip with your kids just yet, though! Here are some tips to help you navigate the process of planning a vacation with shared custody.
- Communicate. You and your co-parent need to communicate your plans for summer before summer starts. Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon in July? Talk to your co-parent s about it, and see if they will agree. If they won’t, see if there is a compromise you both can agree upon, such as moving the trip, making it shorter, or even going together. Before you book anything, take some time to talk, and use a mediator if you need to.
- Ask your children. If you have older children, they may have their own desires for summer. Talk to them and see what they want to do, and take it into account. Even younger children may be happy to add their input to the plans, and planning a trip together can be rewarding.
- Confirm plans in writing. Mix-ups can be frustrating, but they can also place you into legal issues if your custody plans aren’t followed. If you and your co-parent choose to use informal agreements rather than formal modifications to your custody agreements over summer, be sure to get all plans in writing as agreed upon by both of you. This can also help if your co-parent changes their mind or forgets the plans you’ve agreed upon.
- Consult your lawyer. Remember, custody issues are legal issues. If you’re seeking to make changes to your custody plans or take your kids on a trip out of state, your attorney can make sure it’s handled correctly so you’re protected.
Ready to enjoy your summer vacation? We’re here to help. Our Katy family law attorneys are ready to help you navigate the process of custody modification or to answer your legal questions. Schedule a consultation with the Adams Law Firm today to learn more!
Contact our firm by calling (281) 391-9237.