Things have to be pretty serious for you to need to hire a family law attorney. We often choose attorneys because they are sympathetic, a good listener, or come with good recommendations. However, these traits aren’t enough, and some good traits in excess can be bad for your case. One of the worst mistakes you can make is choosing a bad attorney. Here are five signs of a bad family law attorney.
You want an attorney who listens to your case and sympathizes with your plight. However, it is a serious problem if the attorney is too empathetic.
After all, you don’t want a doctor who is so torn up at the sight of your pain they can’t help you. The same is true of your attorney. Don’t work with an attorney who calls your spouse names, uses inflammatory language or engages in other unprofessional behavior. Only work with an attorney who is objective about your case.
Good family lawyers will practice empathetic listening. Your attorney should outline the work you’ll need to do like produce documents, give depositions and review court documents.
An attorney may subtly indicate their poor opinion of you in other ways. It may be glancing at their watch repeatedly. It may be saying that you shouldn’t call them, they’ll call or email you when there is finally a reason to do so. In contrast, a good attorney will keep you updated on your case and educate you about what is going on.
An attorney who is too critical, whether of you or other attorneys, should be avoided. If they’re critical of other attorneys, this gets in the way of working with them. However, it isn’t unreasonable for an attorney to be critical of lying and cheating in a client. In fact, an attorney who overlooks bad behavior like this while making grand promises is probably going to take the case and run with it until you run out of money.
Sets Unrealistic Expectations
An attorney can give estimates. For example, it is reasonable to estimate how much you’ll have to pay in child support based on your income. The warning sign is the attorney who guarantees results. The attorney can share what percentage of cases they win and give a rough estimate of the odds they’ll win in your case. However, the outcomes are not certain and often not even clear. On the flip side, an attorney who won’t give you their opinion regarding the merits of your case or the possibility you’ll win is doing you a disservice.
Firms like Sue Wilson Family Law, for instance, will help you fight for the best outcome. This may be making your voice heard, settling the divorce fairly and quickly, adjusting child support and alimony or coming to an agreement on child custody.
Gives You a Hard Sale
The good attorney’s reputation and demeanor will make their case. This is why an attorney giving you a hard sale is a red flag.
Any attorney giving you unrealistic expectations and promising everything should also be taken as warnings. If they say they can get anything and everything you want, leave. An attorney who has to argue that they are qualified to take your case should be avoided.
No matter what you’re facing in family court, you can’t afford to hire a bad attorney. With a good one, the process will be as straightforward and painless as possible.