Two qualities to consider when selecting a family law attorney
By: Peter R. Olson, Attorney at Law
I think two qualities are absolutely critical when selecting a divorce or child custody attorney (and likely any attorney). Honestly, there have been times in my legal career where I did not abide by both of these traits and the quality of legal services that I provided was far inferior to the quality of legal representation that our firm currently provides.
- First, the law firm should have a team of people with different strengths in order to ensure that the cases are resolved in the fastest time possible . In my opinion, the â€œsweet spotâ€ for law firms in the family law practice area is a law firm that employs 2-5 attorneys The big problem with sole practitioner attorneys is that cases being handled are not pushed to move. Family law matters do not move unless the attorneys in the case PUSH them. If there is one attorney with no support staff, who is overwrought with cases, he/she does not have the capacity to push the cases, and then oneâ€™s case will just plod along from court date to court date with a resolution not in sight. I had a case last week in Chicago involving the enforcement and modification of child support that should have been completed in one hour. Instead, the opposing sole practitioner attorney was scrambling between three different cases in multiple courtrooms this caused the case to drag on for six hours. Surely this sort of one-attorney scrambling around is not the best thing for a client in terms of results and expense (if the lawyer is billing by the hour).
- Second, narrow and focused practice areas are a must. I practice divorce and child custody law and matters that stem from those two areasâ€¦period. As we state on our website: Family law in the 21st century is far too complex to entrust your case and your life to an attorney who is not a specialist; our attorneys practice only family law. I just finished-up a relatively simple divorce case where the opposing attorney was not focused solely on family law matters. Due to this, the case took longer, was more expensive for both parties, and the final legal result was likely much worse for both parties. I had to do all the work and then basically explain how to do things to the opposing lawyer. The opposing lawyer was not much help at all, and due to his lack of focus needed when dealing with family law, both parties were not able to achieve what they had hoped for.
Peter R. Olson, Attorney at Law, advocates on behalf of individuals, families, and children during adoption, dissolution of marriage, and parentage cases often involving child custody, intricate property issues, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Peter is an Allied Attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund where he provides pro bono representation on behalf of persecuted Christians. Heâ€™s a graduate of both Winona State University (MN) and the Southern Illinois University School of Law.