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Why You Need A Divorce Lawyer

If you have not by now, chances are that sometime in your life you'll have to seek the services of legal counsel. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, here is a variety of responses to frequent as well as imperative questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I will need a legal professional?
ANSWER: If you have been served with a Summons and similar documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should really endeavor to seek out legal assistance without delay. Papers filed in court that start a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve particular deadlines; missing those deadlines could damage your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some issues by statute involve a "pre-suit" time period that allow you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is recommended.

2. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other counties and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county in which the matter is being litigated is important as that attorney will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One thing to consider in hiring an attorney outside the area in which the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers do not charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work conducted. Clarify that question with each lawyer consulted.

3. QUESTION: Exactly what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed place with their counsel (if retained) and a decided on mediator to try and solve all or some of the problems involved. Mediators are to be unrelated to all participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and maintain the confidential structure of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the charge of the mediation equally but other arrangements might be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is generally required in every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What type of lawyer do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other industries, lawyers may specialise in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer services in several specific areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are extremely specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, as in worker's compensation. Any attorney should be able to discuss your particular issue, determine if he/she is qualified to take care of such matters or advise you of the necessity to seek advice from another in a specialized area.

5. QUESTION: How may I make sure my lawyer is resolving my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney keeps track of his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a confirmation of how the attorney 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 taken place by your counsel and the other party/counsel. It's also advisable to feel at ease getting in contact with your attorney at intervals to determine the status of the issue, knowing you'll likely be billed for these interactions.

6. QUESTION: How do I select an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal concerns are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and can be just as perplexing. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the very best practice would be to study your area of need and research what law firms are accessible to work with you. A recommendation from someone you know and regard can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an lawyer but really should not be the exclusive reason counsel is picked. Look into the lawyer's background of schooling, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking a lot of questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but can also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the pick of a physician, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

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