If you are a parent who needs help getting child support payments, modifying an existing child support order, or collecting unpaid back child support, a child support lawyer can help.
It can be tough to know exactly what questions to ask an attorney about your child support situation. Here are some of the questions that you might want to ask a lawyer during your initial consultation:
How does a change in a parent's income affect child support?
What options are available for child support enforcement?
How difficult is it to change the child support amount or obtain a child support modification?
How does custodial parent vs. non-custodial parent status affect support payments?
Does alimony change the amount of child support I receive or pay?
How can I be sure that child support payments cover daycare (or other childcare options), health insurance and health care costs, special needs care and all of the other needs of the children?
Whether you need help enforcing a court order, changing the amount of child support you receive or pay, or have other child support needs, picking the right attorney can make a world of difference.
Consider the following when determining which law firm you want to work on your child support case:
Comfort Level - Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your child support or child custody problem?
Credentials - How long has the lawyer been in practice? Is the lawyer familiar with child support guidelines in your state? Has the lawyer worked on other child support cases similar to yours?
Cost - How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
City - Is their law office conveniently located near you?
Use FindLaw to hire a local child support lawyer near you to set child support obligations, enforce child support orders, and resolve other child support issues.
Many people who need to find a lawyer in California have never hired a lawyer before. Talking to a lawyer may be a new experience and you might want some help getting started. Here are some questions you may want to ask a lawyer before deciding who to hire.
What is your main practice area?
How many years of experience do you have in California with cases like mine?
How often do you take cases to trial or settle them out of court?
Can I take my case through mediation or arbitration?
Do you offer a free consultation?
What are your fees and costs?
Will you be the attorney primarily handling my case?
How will I be kept up-to-date about my case?
In order to practice law in California, attorneys have to both pass the California bar exam and be admitted by the State Bar of California. Most attorneys in California graduate from an accredited law school but some lawyers are admitted through on-the-job experience for a minimum of 4 years and through passing an additional legal exam. After a lawyer is admitted to law practice in California, they can practice in almost any area of law.
Lawyers in California are held to strict ethical guidelines known as the Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorneys may have duties and limitations in:
Duty of client advocacy
Conflicts of interest
Duty of candor
Limitations in soliciting clients
Restrictions on handling a client's money
Many people avoid calling a lawyer because they are worried it will be too expensive. In many cases, a lawyer can end up saving the client money. This includes getting an increased award, recovering additional damages, avoiding financial problems in the future, and avoiding future disputes and litigation. Some legal areas even allow the lawyer to recover legal fees from the party at fault.