Hiring an attorney can be an intimidating process. If you are looking for a lawyer for a divorce or child custody case, or for another family law matter in Texas, you may feel particularly overwhelmed. The high emotions and high stakes of family law cases can cloud judgment and make it difficult to decide the best path forward. It is important when hiring a family law attorney to choose someone who has experience with your specific type of situation and who is competent and highly regarded by colleagues and clients alike.

If you are eager to secure legal representation quickly for your family law case in Texas, you may be tempted to go with the first attorney you meet with—or find through an internet search. Conversely, you may have heard bad stories about incompetent mercenary lawyers taking advantage of their clients, and you may be extremely hesitant to hire any attorney at all. In either case, it is important to know what to look for—and what to avoid—in an attorney so that you can secure the best possible outcome for you and your family.

If you are getting a divorce or need representation in a family law matter in Texas, here are five red flags to look out for when considering hiring a lawyer, which indicate your attorney may be incompetent:

  1. They promise a certain outcome. An ethical, upstanding attorney will never promise you a specific outcome on a case. If a lawyer is making grand promises and detailed assurances about your family law case, this is a warning sign.

2. They don’t specialize in your area. Make sure you choose an attorney with experience and a proven track record in family law in particular. You want to hire an attorney who specializes in your specific issue (such as divorce or child custody).

3. They aren’t responsive. From the initial strategy session through the final court order, your attorney should be personally involved in every aspect of the case. It is a bad sign if an attorney doesn’t respond to you promptly or is constantly distracted by calls or emails during your consultation.

4. They are not respectful. An attorney should never divulge confidential information from past cases, disrespect other parties, or treat their staff poorly. This is a reflection of how they will treat you during your case and you need a lawyer who will give your case the attention and respect it deserves.

5. They refuse to provide references. It is important to look at reviews and references when hiring a family law attorney to hear what past clients have to say about their legal practice. If an attorney refuses to provide references, it is likely because they have something to hide.

Don’t ignore your intuition when choosing a family law attorney. From start to finish, you should feel confident in your representation and should experience a sense of relief in the midst of a difficult situation.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions about divorce law, child custody, visitation, or what rights grandparents have in a divorce, contact the experts at Sandoval Family Law today.

At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.