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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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Family Law Attorney Related Questions

What is a family law attorney?

A family law attorney, also known as a family lawyer, takes care of many cases before the judge in court. Family lawyers oversee things like child support, child custody, divorce, spousal support, adoption, termination of parental rights, paternity, child abuse, and protection from abuse. A family law attorney not only helps the client in court, but a good family lawyer can also help the client through one of their most difficult times of their lives. However, when dealing with family law attorneys, you can also have questions about your rights like the ones answered below.

In California, what can you do if you have been charged too much by a family law attorney?

Morally and legally, attorneys should not charge more than the fair fee for the service rendered. It is however not always clear what work or fee is reasonable because family law cases can often get heated and drawn out. The attorney is supposed to keep their client’s best interest in mind, keep the client updated on the case, and provide the billing statement in a timely manner. If you feel that the your attorney has not kept your best interest in mind, or has over billed you, then you can file a formal complaint against the attorney with the California State Bar and they will investigate and decide whether or not the attorney had violated any of the rules of professionalism. If the court decides that the attorney is in violation, then they bar can take action to discipline the attorney.

Is it mandatory to hire a family law attorney to represent someone?

Legally, a person has the right of self-representation. In other words a person is not required to hire an attorney. However, unless is legally adept and has knowledge of the family court system, self-representation may become difficult. A person who cannot afford a family lawyer can seek legal aid to find a low cost or pro-bono attorney. The gravity of your situation, laws in your state, and the details of your individual circumstances can also determine whether you need to retain the services of a family law attorney.

In California, what are the pros and cons of using a different family law attorney from a different county? What does someone look for when looking for a good family lawyer?

A family law attorney from a different county may not be completely aware of the laws in your region, and may not be familiar with the history previous rulings, judges, etc. In California an attorney can practice in any county. When looking for a family law attorney, you need to look for one that has experience representing clients in similar cases. For confidentiality reasons, the attorney must first contact and get permission from the client before they can give a referral, but you can ask a family law attorney for past client references. Last but not least, you should feel comfortable with your attorney. It is a good idea to make several appointments with your family lawyer so that you feel comfortable talking to the attorney about the details of your case.

Can someone sue a family law attorney for malpractice? Can a family lawyer be sued for the financial hardships suffered due to the attorney’s malpractice?

The short answer to the first question: “can someone sue a family law attorney for malpractice?” is yes. You can sue your family law attorney if the attorney claims to have rendered a service that was actually not rendered. Such a situation could result in lawsuit for malpractice and negligence on the attorney’s part. The answer to the second question is dependent on whether or not negligence or malpractice by the family lawyer can be proved conclusively. If malpractice and/or negligence are granted in a case against your family lawyer, then you would be able to collect all the costs and financial losses resulting from the family lawyer’s negligence or malpractice. The difficult part can be determining whether an action or inaction by the attorney qualifies as negligence or malpractice.

How can someone fire their family law attorney?

The quickest way to fire your family law attorney would be to go to the office of the lawyer, state that you are firing the person as your attorney, and demand your case files and a copy of the bill. Once the termination is final, the attorney will need to go to the court house and file a FL-960 form with the court, which is a notice of withdrawal to be filed by the attorney. Dealing with a family law crisis can often be a difficult time in your life. You may not know which way to turn; you may not even know your own rights. The situation can get complicated if you are not confident of your family law attorney or have questions about your family lawyer.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9402
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
characters left:
4 Family Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Family Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Ely
Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 8085
Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 6424
27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
FiveStarLaw
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6336
25 years of experience helping people like you.

Recent Family Lawyer Questions

  • I live in Colorado and have full parenting rights w/ my daughter

    I live in Colorado and have full parenting rights w/ my daughter and am seeking employment out of state as I lost my job in Oct. My ex cannot see our daughter for 4 years due to his conduct w/ her and he's on probation. If I move, can I get in trouble for leaving the state, due to hardship and the need for employment, given he cant see her anyway? He cant see her until 2018.
  • Ok,So its been 18 months of a cover-up of my estranged

    Ok,
    So its been 18 months of a cover-up of my estranged spouses crimes that she admitted to me. When I told her I was going to the police or the DA's office considering what she was doing and had done, she instead filed a false PFA against me..
    Background:
    - I was the primary care-giver stay at home father with a solid background and was sacrificing my future to raise my kids to age 5 before I went back to school.. I also had a part time job as a special needs clinician.
    - She just made money and saw the kids when she wasn't working as a school teacher.
    Facts:
    - She said I was abusive in front of the kids and had a major mental illness and would not take medication. She knows this was not true because one of her admitted crimes was to conspire to build a mental health history on me that she could use to discredit me.
    - I never struck her.
    - Received no hearing august 5th was postponed to august 22nd 2013 due to the judge calling off sick.
    - on august 22nd my lawyer entered a continuance against my wishes and in collusion with someone who was conspiring to take my kids away from me.
    - october 8th i filed my own complaint for shared custody after not seeing my kids at all during this time because the continuance was with a piece of paper that said no contact and only the 1 year old and 3 year old could call me when they felt like it.
    - the sheriff's office told me that i could just give her the papers, and when I did I found her pregnant (I'll get to the negatives later). and she seemed to think I couldnt' hand her those papers - i never even heard of husbands not being to talk to their wives before let alone whatever a PFA was. Plus I didn't understand it because I was not abusive during our relationship. So I went to the police station myself and asked them if I did something wrong, and they held me and
    - october 28th there was continuance signed for another 2 months or so that only allowed my kids the benefit of their father whenever i could afford $50 an hour with a sheriff.
    - i learned more because i could only afford attorney's for hearings, and eventually filed an emergency petition with as much evidence a I could muster at the time.
    - december 23rd 2013 she made a false police report and i was held again..
    - while being held she received my civil suit against her in the mail - and so she filed another ICC about receiving unwanted mail (avoiding civil and criminal prosecution) and the custody emergency hearing end of December 28th and January 4th (I would actually have to look at these dates, but they are approximately correct) because I was still being held.
    - signed continuance again this time for a year because the lawyer said after two holidays in jail it was best to try to get out as soon as possible (and run, I guess he had heard from the accomplices that they were trying to force me out of the area)
    - around march there was a custody conciliation where my hired lawyer at the time attempted to draft an interim agreement with an aunt as a supervisor (this had been done before on purpose by the other side, sabotaged on purpose) and so I said NO negotiations broke down and postponed to June 5th.
    - by then I had collected more evidence and filed motion for a PFA hearing and a discontinuance - 140 pages of evidence...
    - notified her school that she had been physically interacting with the school students that she admitted lusting for. she's a Catholic School Teacher.. (basically I started going public - I thought the situation would have been resolved by then, but people just kept with the cover-up and so if the authorities and courts aren't going to get justice for me and kids then the press is the final option.)
    - even knowing i did not violate a single part of the "temporary" pfa that still has had no hearing, they detained me on the 5th long enough to hold what was supposed to be custody conciliation, and entered an order saying I couldn't post on the internet or tell anyone about her crimes against kids anywhere near her employer.
    - after that, her accomplices forced me into near homelessness and I was able to afford one other attorney who threw nearly the rest of case on purpose meaning.
    - he was able get new conciliation on Sept 2nd but he let the order stand keeping the kids in peril (and he did it for the other side on purpose).
    - on Sept 2nd they came up with a reunification program to see the kids every other week for 1 hour which is all I can afford...
    facts about her:
    - well i just said them.
    facts about me:
    - one dui on record from a networking event in 2006 i went to. and even that was the result of a crime committed against me...
    from primary caregiver to life destroyed , crooked lawyers, and false allegations.. no due process on anything - what should I do to turn this around?
  • I prefer a TX family lawyer answer this for reasons of varying

    I prefer a TX family lawyer answer this for reasons of varying State laws
    Facts: I reside in Rosenberg, Fort bend Co TX, I have one child whom is five no other children, never married. .
    So I got a notice from TXOAG stating I owe $16,817 in arrears including a $3034.64 interest penalty. The Childs mother did not confirm payments unit last week of $12,065 I made directly to her by money order after the effective date (august 1, 2010) of child support order. This interest accrued because it took her three years to confirm. So I get a garnishment order(modification) notice in mail to be sent to my p/t job for the amount of 974 a month. Which is increased from 819 a month because this is a review, three years have past. But they are already garnishing the previous order of 819 from my FTJ. What is going on I only make 62K a year including both jobs. So my questions are: Is why was is sent to my p/t job instead of my FTJ? Is this a mistake? if not this means they will be garnishing over $1800 a month. Is this in compliance with TXfamcode ? When they credit me for the $12,065 will the interest be dropped?
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