Many people ask me when is it best to seek out the help of a lawyer. While this may sound self-serving since I am an attorney, the one absolute truth about family law litigation is the counsel and advice of a qualified attorney at the earliest stage of the proceedings is the best antidote to a bad result. Whether you are merely thinking about getting a divorce, thinking about changing the custody/possession/support terms concerning your children, or have premonitions that your spouse or ex may be thinking about litigation, seeing and discussing the situation with an attorney will provide you with the knowledge and information you need to make better decisions about your particular situation. Of course, if you have received or been served a citation or notice issued by a court, you should have seen an attorney yesterday.
There are strict deadlines that follow a proper service of legal papers on you and an attorney can identify the dates by which you must act to protect your rights. Missing one of these deadlines is the most difficult position that you can put yourself in – so don’t let that happen. Receiving legal papers from a sheriff, constable, via certified mail, or a private process server means your next step is to make an appointment with a qualified attorney. More often than not, after your consultation with an attorney, you will simply feel better about your situation – not necessarily happy – but better. An attorney will educate you about the law concerning your particular issues, their opinion about the possible outcomes in your situation, their experience and knowledge of the courts and judicial system in the county in which you live and your case will be heard, and, of course, the anticipated costs and time your case will be in litigation. The more familiar your attorney is with the courts and judges in your county of residence – the more exact their advice will be for your case.
Whether you set a consultation with the experienced attorneys of Neal Ashmore, or decide to go see the attorney who handled your cousin’s divorce, make an appointment and go visit with that attorney. In fact, go see as many attorneys for consultation as you can. The more information you have the better able you will be to make decisions for you and your families’ future while at the same time finding an attorney with whom you can feel comfortable and with whom you can feel confident. It never hurts to have all of the best knowledge from experts before taking action.