An expert’s view on choosing the right family lawyers

According to Martha McCarthy, family lawyers and founding partner at McCarthy Hansen & Company LLP, many people will interact with the justice system for the first time because of a family law matter, so it is worth the time to take it seriously by choosing family lawyers who fits with you, your goals, and makes you feel comfortable.

According to McCarthy, choosing a family law attorney may be the most important professional choice a person makes. One of her objectives for each first consultation is for the client to leave the meeting feeling relieved that they have someone to handle their very stressful and important matter.

“I know I’ve done my job in that meeting if a client says, “Oh, I feel better immediately, or I am glad to know now that you’re going to tackle this situation,” as the consult comes to a close.

Choosing the best family attorney

Clients should refrain from traveling about looking for legal representation in part because doing so causes tension for the other spouse, who is unable to get lawyer recommended by their ex-partner. McCarthy believes that striking a balance is achieved by speaking with two or three attorneys before deciding on a course of action. The crucial decision might have long-term consequences for a person’s future, thus it is worth the time.

It is not advised, according to McCarthy, when someone meets with all the prominent attorneys on purpose to create conflicts.

The best way to find family lawyers is via referrals. Instead of doing an online search, she advises people to contact their professional networks, a legal acquaintance, or a friend who just got divorced in the same city and had a positive result for family lawyers suggestions.

The SMSF setup process can be made more efficient and effective by prioritizing referrals when selecting professionals. While online searches may provide options, seeking recommendations from trusted sources is often the best approach. As with finding family lawyers, individuals are advised to contact their professional networks, legal acquaintances, or friends who have recently undergone the SMSF setup process with positive results. These referrals offer firsthand experiences and insights, enabling individuals to make informed decisions and engage professionals who have proven expertise in navigating the complexities of SMSF establishment.

Factors to take into account while selecting family lawyers

According to McCarthy, clients should engage family lawyers with a proportional hourly charge after taking into account the nature of their issues and the likely amount of money that would be involved. People must also consider the amount of knowledge needed to resolve the issue since some disagreements are not about money.

For instance, McCarthy claims that it is impossible to assess the cost-effectiveness of her firm’s handling of complicated access denial cases and high-conflict custody cases. If you have a particularly difficult set of custody issues, you may wish to pay a specialist a higher hourly fee since you can’t do a cost-effectiveness analysis of your difficulties as a parent.

According to McCarthy, customers should also take into account a firm’s depth of talent and capacity for more effective work delegation. Are there, for instance, young attorneys with reduced rates who could write the case’s opening letter? Is a legal clerk available who could draft the financial disclosure and statements at a fair price?

She asserts that customers shouldn’t pay family lawyers to discuss their finances with them and that the majority of family law clerks spend a significant portion of their time on disclosure and financial statements.

McCarthy made fun of the fact that the 10 members of his legal practice “eat financial statements for breakfast.” “You want to know that someone is going to manage the things that don’t need to be handled by family lawyers,” says my legal clerk, “asking questions when clients are producing financial statements that I wouldn’t even think to think about.”

McCarthy believes that having a strong bench is important and beneficial to clients in many ways because there are instances in which it is advantageous for counsel to brief another attorney. For instance, suppose your attorney received COVID and has a court date the next day.

According to McCarthy, family law is a very complicated area of practice where family lawyers need to be knowledgeable in corporation law, tax trusts, and estates. Additionally, she does not advise hiring a family law attorney who practices a variety of legal specialties. It is also useful for customers to know if family lawyers is a certified expert since it makes it clear which attorneys have extensive experience in family law.

Before considering the statutory procedures for establishing the proper amount of child and spousal support, McCarthy advises that you should study financial accounts and be familiar with how companies operate. There are books on estimating income for support or different theories of eligibility for spousal support, but they need specialist computer programs. Therefore, it is usually preferable to choose family lawyers who has more experience and is less generic.

Being in the appropriate state of mind for a family law case

According to McCarthy, family lawyers ultimate objective in every case is a graceful divorce. I don’t believe I’m going to be the appropriate person for you because I’m not here to serve as an instrument of your retribution, individuals have sometimes said. “I’m not interested in an elegant divorce; I’m interested in vengeance,” I have said.

McCarthy claims that many individuals are harmed, abused, and often passing through the five stages of grieving described by psychologist Kubler Hyson Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This is especially true at the outset of a family court procedure. According to her, persons involved in family court cases are not prepared to negotiate until they have beyond the phases of anger and denial and are at the point of acceptance.

Some clients show up unprepared for a family law session. McCarthy cites as an example how someone who learns their spouse is having an extramarital affair on Thursday and seeks legal guidance on Friday is too early and unable to hear, receive, or assess it since they are in the midst of a crisis and distress. She advises them to reach a point where they can speak logically, take counsel, and reason through issues.

There is nothing wrong with waiting two, three, or even a month after the original crisis to speak with a therapist or get counseling. Legal services cannot be consumed if the emotional content volume is too high.

McCarthy claims that an assistant is present for around half of her first consultations, which is strongly recommended. She claims that family law professionals never mind speaking with a relative or close friend since many individuals want assistance and find it useful to have a “second pair of ears.”

Occasionally, a helper who is not helpful worsens the legal process, according to McCarthy, who claims that family attorneys are not interested in such individuals and only seek aides who are really helpful.


Clients sometimes worry about the whole cost of a family law case and inquire about the cost of the divorce at the first consultation. According to Mccarthy, no experienced attorney can provide an early response to that issue.

“After disclosure, we have a much better understanding of the case and the conflicts, and you can have a much better feel of what the next step will cost, but in the beginning, nobody will be able to fairly calculate expenses because there is not enough information at that time,” the attorney said.

Sometimes the cost of hiring a good family lawyers deters individuals from hiring them. However, McCarthy says that clients shouldn’t be concerned about expenses since a family court case may end up being the most significant financial transaction of a person’s life.