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What Does Divorce Lawyer Mean?

In the instance that you haven't previously, probably sometime in your lifetime you'll need to retain a lawyer. Thanks to my consultation with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, below is a group of answers to very common as well as fundamental questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I will need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have recently been served with a Summons and associated documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to seek out legal assistance without delay. Papers filed in court that begin a lawsuit call for responses that involve exact deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could compromise your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" period of time that allow you to think about the legal issues and probable resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is advised.

2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other counties and other states, based upon on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county in which the matter is being litigated is crucial as that lawyer will have a level of comfort with the local courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in hiring legal counsel outside the area in which the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers don't charge for travel, others give you a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work carried out. Discuss that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: What exactly is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed area with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and solve all or some of the issues involved. Mediators should be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential structure of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is typically required in every case filed in court and before a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What type of attorney do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other industries, lawyers may concentrate in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer services in a few specific areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are very specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any attorney can talk about your specific issue, determine if he or she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the need to seek advice from another in a specialized area.

5. QUESTION: How can I be certain my attorney is handling my issues?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer keeps track of his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - once a month, quarterly, etc. You may even keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that established, you are wise to routinely review the docket and see what activities have transpired by your counsel and the other party/counsel. It's also advisable to feel comfortable getting in touch with your lawyer at intervals to learn the status of the issue, understanding you will likely be billed for these communications.

6. QUESTION: Just how do I select an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal issues are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and tend to be just as complex. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the very best practice is to study your area of need and research what legal professionals are available to help you. A referral from someone you know and respect can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an law firm but should not be the only reason counsel is picked. Research the lawyer's background of schooling, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking a lot of questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but may also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be considered with the exact same level of thought and consideration as that given to the pick of a doctor, accountant, financial consultant or therapist.

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