Family law covers a broad range of legal issues, from divorce and custody to adoption and beyond. Since close family relationships are involved, family law cases can be particularly challenging and painful for all parties involved. Phillips and Sellers Attorneys at Law have been practicing family law attorneys in the Columbus, GA area for over two decades. Today, we share 10 tips for making your family law court experience as positive as possible.
1. Determine What Outcomes You Hope For From Family Law Court
Whether you are navigating a divorce or custody dispute or pursuing adoption, write down a list of the outcomes that you want to see from your family law case. Setting out a clear roadmap for what you hope to accomplish through the courts is a great way to organize your thoughts so you can get your legal team on the same page. Bear in mind that you may have to compromise on some of your goals. Try to be realistic, and get guidance from an experienced family law attorney or divorce attorney in Columbus, GA on what is reasonable to hope for in your specific situation.
2. Don’t Try to Represent Yourself in Family Law Court
Legal representation can be costly, depending on your circumstances, but attempting to represent yourself in court is not a good option. While you are familiar with the facts of your case, you still need experienced legal guidance to ensure the best outcome for you. In a family law case, lack of legal representation could have lasting consequences for you and your family. You don’t want a lack of expertise in the law in your area to prevent you from getting a fair custody arrangement or divorce settlement, or delay your adoption proceedings. A local law practice will have knowledge of the law and systems in Columbus, GA, and the surrounding area, which is a huge benefit to you in the courtroom.
3. Act Quickly And Get Legal Representation as Early as Possible
When hiring legal counsel, it’s best if you begin as early as possible. Depending on your specific needs, waiting too long could have a serious impact on your case. For many types of proceedings, there are deadlines set by the court, and missing one could cause you major problems. As soon as you find yourself in a family law situation, find a trusted divorce attorney or family law attorney in the Columbus, GA area, and secure their services. Particularly in cases where significant amounts of money are involved, such as the division of assets or determination of alimony and child support during a divorce, it is key that you bring in a skilled legal advisor to represent your interests early.
Family court is not a place to “wait and see.” This is a time to take speedy action to protect yourself and other members of your family.
4. Choose a Family Law Attorney With Proven Experience
It’s not just important that you hire legal representation. You also need to be sure that you are working with someone who has deep knowledge and demonstrated experience in your specific type of case and local court system. Look for a family law attorney with years of experience practicing in the area, and a good track record with your type of case. At Phillips & Sellers, we believe in building relationships in the community and knowing the local legal system in and out. With over two decades of experience as family law attorneys in Columbus, GA, and the surrounding areas, we have deep knowledge of not just the law of the land, but the local legal environment.
5. Find an Empathetic Lawyer Who Will Make The Process Smoother For You
Any type of family law proceeding can be challenging and emotionally draining for concerned parties. Seek out a divorce lawyer or family law attorney in Columbus, GA who emphasizes supporting their clients’ emotional health by making the process as low-conflict as possible. Family law matters can impact any area of a client’s life, from family and home to work and finances. It’s key that you seek out a legal team that focuses on providing you with a comfortable environment to work through the challenging situation you are in.
6. Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Under The Law
This is an area where an experienced divorce or family law practitioner is your best resource. As you navigate your case, you need to be aware of both what rights and privileges you are entitled to, as well as what responsibilities you have to others. If you have a trustworthy legal team, they are your best resource for navigating the legal system and can guide you through determining your obligations and rights.
7. Be Completely Transparent With Your Family Law Attorney
It’s crucially important that you are as honest and transparent as possible with your divorce lawyer or family law attorney. You are relying on them to take the facts of your case and use them to identify the best options and pursue the best solutions for you. In order to do that, they need full transparency from you on anything pertaining to the case. Sharing all this sensitive information is another reason it is so important to identify an attorney with a proven track record and a good reputation in the community.
8. Gather Important Documents and Information
Your family law attorney will guide you through the process of determining what documents and records you need for legal purposes throughout your case. Courts can require many different types of information as cases progress, and you may need to submit other documents or records as evidence in your case. Lean on your legal team for guidance here, but expect to gather and secure vital records, financial information, and other important documents.
9. Be Emotionally Prepared for a Difficult Process
Whether you are seeking to welcome a new family member into your home through adoption, negotiating a custody settlement, or dealing with any other type of family law matter, you are likely to encounter some emotionally difficult situations. Be aware that the process will be challenging, and give yourself room for rest. Hiring a quality Columbus, GA family law attorney is a great way to minimize the stress and frustration of the legal process, but remind yourself that you are still working through a difficult challenge and that finding resolution could take time.
10. Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Get Out of Control
As you work through your family law case, you’ll likely have moments where you are under emotional strain. Perhaps you and your spouse are clashing over custody or financial settlements, or your adoption proceedings are taking longer than you had hoped. Family law touches on some incredibly painful situations. If you have a solid, empathetic attorney representing you, they can shield you from some of the emotionally challenging aspects of the process, and bring a calm, professional demeanor to the case. Still, you will likely experience some trying moments. Do your best to keep your focus on finding a fair resolution that will be best for all parties, and don’t let the heat of the moment compromise your focus on the future.
Do You Need a Divorce or Family Law Attorney in Columbus, GA?
If you are facing a family law situation, seek out a trustworthy family law attorney without delay. Phillips & Sellers Attorneys at Law offer initial consultations that are free of charge in most cases.
You can contact us to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation, and a member of our legal team will be happy to assist you.