How do I find the best Texas lawyer for high-conflict divorce with kids?

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Lisa A. Vance - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Lisa A. Vance

Located in San Antonio, TXThe Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

Fax: 210-582-5878

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When you’re choosing a law firm for a high-conflict divorce - especially one that involves children - you’re making one of the most important decisions of your life. Divorce is an emotional process, a process that results in a divorce decree: A legal document that determines your and your children’s financial future and ongoing relationships.

When you’re looking for a lawyer, you want someone you can trust, and someone you can work with. You want someone who understands what you’re looking for and helps you understand how that can happen. Most importantly, you want someone who can help reduce your stress, fighting your legal battles while healing your wounds at the same time. 

What qualifications should I look for?

Contentious divorces involving children call for unique skills and knowledge. Your lawyer should be very familiar with sophisticated issues such as parent-child alienation, family violence/marital abuse, fathers' rights/mothers' rights, the Hague Convention and international abductions, Child Protective Services, parental relocation, and how complex mental health issues may affect parenting ability and custody options. 

At The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C., in San Antonio, we have the knowledge and skill you seek. In addition, we care about providing the sense of calm and the confident direction you need during this difficult time. 

Should I ask friends or family members?

You absolutely should! Asking people who have gone through a complex or contested divorce will give you a sense of what to expect and will give you some names to consider. Remember, while you’re looking for a lawyer rather than a new friend, you want to make sure that you like and trust your divorce lawyer.

What kind of research should I do?

As much as you can without feeling overwhelmed. Make sure you’re going beyond a website’s design to look at content. On our website, we maintain a comprehensive blog to give our thoughts on a range of family law matters. If you spend some time reading those articles, you’ll see what we believe.

At The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C., we also have lawyers who can handle tough, tenacious litigation as well as lawyers who can facilitate alternative dispute resolutions like mediation and collaborative law. The more you know about what works best for you, the better positioned you will be. When you have your initial consultation with a divorce lawyer, you’ll get a better sense of how quickly and effectively any one method is for getting the type of decree you want. 

What about review websites?

Review sites can be helpful, but approach them with caution. Though there are some people who go to review sites no matter how their experiences were, some go to vent about a negative experience. Some people even anonymously review people and places they don't even know. Some of these review sites won't even let the reviewed firm reply, even if the review is a lie.

Divorce is seldom a happy experience, even when your lawyer may be working miracles. This is especially true in high-conflict divorces with kids, where neither parent is likely to end up in the exact situation that he or she would prefer. So don’t get hung up on any one review. Try to get a sense of how people collectively feel as an indication of how the law firm performs.

What should I look for when I make my first visit to the law office?

In your first contact with the law firm, the firm will learn about you, your case, and if you are calling the right type of law firm. When you call The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C., you will speak with a client coordinator who will do just that. If your case is not a match for this office, they may be able to suggest other resources. 

Some law firms offer a “free” initial consultation. However, think of what that may mean. "Free consults" are usually an opportunity to sell services to you and are mostly limited to basic legal information, often with a paralegal instead of an actual attorney. The client frequently leaves in frustration as they have no idea of what to do next.

Our initial consultation comes with a fee. It is already determined you and this office are a good fit, and you will be meeting with a skilled lawyer. You and the lawyer move your case from the hypothetical to the real. Together, we will determine the direction to take and what it will require. It’s our goal to have our clients leave their initial consultations with a clear plan and with confidence in their choice to retain us. 

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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