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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.
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