8 Tips For Choosing The Best Family Lawyer

best family lawyer

How Do You Find The Best Family Lawyer

Choosing the best family lawyer during your divorce is very important, helping you reach the best outcome, understand the process and make the most appropriate decision.

The right family lawyer can mean a faster, less expensive and less emotionally taxing process.

To make the choice for the best family lawyer, you need to know what to look for.

Not many people facing a marriage break-up have previous experience in legal matters of any kind, much less in the legal aspects of a divorce, so it can be difficult to know exactly how to go about finding the right person to guide you through the process.

So instead of asking your next-door neighbor “How do I find a good family lawyer?” we have compiled a list of 8 tips when choosing a family lawyer.

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1. Start Looking As Early As Possible

Deciding which lawyer you want to help you through this significant and often difficult life change is not something you want to do in a rush.

Whilst tempting to google something like “family lawyers near me” and going for the first result, it may not result in the best outcome for such an important moment in your life.

As soon as you think you might need a family lawyer, start searching for one that suits your needs.

Knowing that you have a professional you can trust, who knows what they are doing and who understands your circumstances will greatly reduce the stress that can come with separation and divorce.

It is hard to be sure the right person is handling your situation if you had to find them in a limited amount of time.

Even if you are not sure that you will need a lawyer for the entire process, if, for example, you hope it to be an amicable divorce, seeking legal advice early on lets you understand the process and feel more comfortable.


2. Ask Around or Check Reviews

Approach the search for the best family lawyer as you would the search for any other professional: ask friends and family members whether they know any lawyers that they can recommend.

With high national divorce rates, it is likely that other people in your extended family or social circle have gone through relationship breakdowns and they may be able to give you advice on which lawyer to choose and on what they found most helpful from their family lawyers.

You do not have to rely only on friends. Other professionals such as accountants and psychologists often work with divorce lawyers and can refer you to lawyers they have worked with before and who they think will be the best fit for you.

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3. Choose An Expert

Family law is complex and constantly changing, with new cases that can set precedents and change how judges respond to other cases in the future.

A lawyer who practices several types of law may not be the best choice, as they may not have a deep enough insight into family law. They may only practice it very rarely.

Therefore, a specialist family lawyer whose expertise and experience is in family and divorce law is much more likely to be the best lawyer for you.

Check whether they have the skills and experience that match up with what you are looking for.

For example, if you think your case is likely to go to court, it is a good idea to make sure your lawyer has courtroom experience.

If children are involved in your separation, find out whether your lawyer has worked with other clients in similar custody matters.

If you feel your divorce will be a more amicable one, look for a lawyer who is a better negotiator.


4. Meet Your Lawyer

Once you have found a few family lawyers who seem to be good fits for you and your situation, meet each of them before making your final decision.

Meeting someone in person gives you a far more well-rounded impression of them than correspondence by email or talking over the phone does, and meeting a couple of different lawyers allows you to feel more certain in your final decision as you will really know that you are working with the best lawyer.

By meeting the lawyers in person, you can also work out the levels of personal compatibility you have with each of them.


5. Personal Compatibility

While you are paying attention to your potential lawyer’s expertise, past experience and the results of their previous cases, think about how you find their manner and whether you are comfortable with their approach.

This is a business relationship, but the best family lawyer for you is someone you feel you can trust and who will represent your point of view.

If working with a particular person causes you more stress, if you feel as though they are not listening to you, not treating you with respect or if they are not giving you the advice and information to help you clearly understand your rights and responsibilities, it may be better to continue looking for someone else.


6. Accessibility

Choose a divorce attorney that is accessible to you, meaning that they answer your calls, or promptly return them, and consistently reply to your emails.

There is no use spending time and money on someone when you feel like they are not giving your case the attention it needs.

Similarly, it would probably be quite difficult to work with a lawyer who constantly uses legal jargon without offering an explanation.

Choosing a divorce attorney near you is no longer a priority, as most communication is now done virtually.

By expanding your search to a larger location, you can ensure that you will be able to find a good family lawyer.


7. Look For Warning Signs

Be on the lookout for any warning signs that might tell you this is not the best family lawyer for you.

This could be as simple as not feeling entirely at ease with them, or it could be something more serious.

If your lawyer starts discussing confidential information from other cases with you, they might do the same later on with your case.

If they are constantly distracted, answering texts, phone calls or emails during your consultation time, you may not be getting the most attentive assistance.

Most of all, you want a lawyer who acts according to the industry ethics.


8. Don’t Let Cost Be The Only Factor

Divorce, as many people know, can be a very expensive process.

However, this does not mean that choosing a cheaper lawyer will result in a lower overall cost.

A lawyer with a higher hourly rate may be more efficient at their job, taking less time and therefore less of your money than a less expensive lawyer would.

A less expensive lawyer, on the other hand, probably has lower rates because they are not in as high demand, but this does not necessarily correlate with their level of dedication, expertise or professionalism.

Basing your search for the best family lawyer on their fees alone is not an effective way to find the most suitable lawyer for you.

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5 Things a Family Lawyer Can Do For You

Family lawyers are legal professionals that specialize in matters to do with family law. They handle legal issues that are concerned with members of the family. Such legal issues include divorce, child custody, and guardianship among others. Family lawyers can act as mediators when family disagreements develop. They can also represent litigants in family conflicts that end up in courts. Below are some of the things that family lawyers can do.

Reasons You Need a Family Lawyer After You're Divorced | Texas

1. Handling Divorce Issues

Undergoing a divorce is probably one of the most draining experiences that a family can face. Emotions may set in and make it impossible for a couple to settle it calmly. In such a case, a family law attorney can act as a mediator, and assist them to approach the issue rationally and within the law. In other words, a competent family law attorney can assist couples in the process of divorcing to settle the matter fairly without necessarily going to court.

2. Handling Estates and Wills

A will is a legal document through which people state how they would wish their property to be managed when they die. Family law attorneys are responsible for assisting people in drafting these documents. They also have what it takes to ensure that an estate is administered as stated by a deceased via the will.

3. Handling Child Custody Agreements

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When a couple separates, one of the most difficult issues to handle has to be what happens to the children. Couples need to agree on how to take care of the children they have had together in the new arrangement. Child custody is defined by an agreement in which both parents have to live with the terms therein. A competent family lawyer can help parents that are parting ways to draft such an agreement. A family law attorney can also help parents in amending child custody agreements if need be.

4. Handling Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by a couple prior to a marriage or a civil union. Although the content of such a contract may vary from one case to another, its main aim is to spell out the provisions of spousal support and division of the property in the event of a breakup or a divorce. A family lawyer can assist a couple in drafting a prenuptial agreement and handling any matters that may arise from the contract according to the law.

5. Represent Litigants in Court

Although family attorneys can help people to settle family disputes outside court, some of these matters still end up in the courts. In such a case, family lawyers are best suited to help litigants get justice. These attorneys handle such cases almost every other day, and therefore, they have the necessary legal knowledge and practical experience to help litigants to navigate the complex jungles of family law and ensure that justice is served accordingly.

The Takeaway

What Is a Family Law Attorney? - Dean Tsourakis 727-785-2700

Overall, it is apparent that the importance of family law attorneys cannot be overemphasized. They help members of families to rationally handle family disputes that would otherwise be crowded by emotions. These lawyers have knowledge and experience to help people settle issues relating to divorce, child custody, prenuptial agreement and estate administration among other legal issues affecting families. Thus, if you are having a family legal matter that needs a rational approach, contact us for more information and for a qualified family law attorney.

3 Deportation Tips

Do you have questions about deportation? Check out these 3 deportation tips for guidance, then call our New Jersey lawyer to get started.

What are the Options Available if a Minor Relative is Detained at the Border

  • 3 Deportation TipsThere is a program available called Special Immigrant Juvenile Program, which allows someone to attain a work permit and a green card.
  • The person must be under 21 and must be considered abandoned or neglected.

Remaining in the U.S If You Are Being Threatened by Gang Violence in Your Home Country

  • If you are from another county facing persecution, you can apply for asylum within one year of your arrival.
    • You can also qualify if your home country is involved in a revolution, religious discrimination or political issues in the country.
  • After filing for asylum you will be eligible to file for a work permit after 6 months.
  • If your asylum application was granted, you can face

Remaining in the U.S if You Have American Born Children

  • If you are of good moral standing and have children who are actively involved in the school system, you may be eligible to apply for a Cancellation of Removal.
  • You should also include documentation of your life in the U.S. and any U.S. born relatives.

Pros and cons of Immigration

Immigration can give substantial economic benefits – a more flexible labour market, greater skills base, increased demand and a greater diversity of innovation. However, immigration is also controversial. It is argued immigration can cause issues of overcrowding, congestion, and extra pressure on public services. There is also a debate about whether immigration of unskilled workers leads to downward pressure on wages and even unemployment of native workers. This is a look at mostly the economic costs and benefits of immigration.

Pros of Immigration

1. Increased economic output and living standards. Net immigration will lead to a growth in the size of the labour force and an increase in the productive capacity of the economy. Immigration leads to higher economic growth with a corresponding rise in tax revenues and potential for government spending.

2. Potential entrepreneurs. It is argued that immigrants often arrive with little wealth so have a greater incentive to try and make something for themselves. Also, people who are willing to leave a country and try in a foreign company are the most ambitious and willing to take risks and a result tend to be the more dynamic part of the workforce. Immigrants who are young and mobile are also quite likely to be entrepreneurs – set up businesses which create innovative products. The American economy is an example of how immigrants have moved to America and set up classic American companies – leading to higher living standards and a greater choice of goods and services. For example, (Apple) Steve Job’s father – Abdul Fattah Jandali was from Syria. Alexander Graham Bell (telephone AT&T) from Scotland. Jeff Bezos (Amazon) son of a Cuban immigrant. Sergey Brin (Google) is a Russian immigrant.

3. Increased demand and growth. A fear of immigration is that ‘Immigrants take jobs from native-born population’ However, this is known as the lump of labour fallacy. The belief that the number of jobs remains fixed. However, this is not the case, if immigrants move to the US or UK and gain employment, then they will spend their wages in their new country, creating new demand in the service and goods sector. Far from ‘taking jobs’ immigrants contribute to a growth in GDP. Between 1900 and 1915, 15 million immigrants arrived in the US (1), but this was a period of low unemployment and high economic growth. Immigration was a major factor in the rapid rate of growth (In US between 1890 to 1910 – economic growth was over 4%.)

4. Better skilled workforce. In the UK, immigrants working in the economy are more likely to have more educational and skilled qualifications. For example, just 20% of UK citizens finished education at 21 or later. But 53% of new immigrants were educated until 21 or later. (LSE study 2012) Immigration allows an economy to attract high skilled professionals to fill in job vacancies and contribute to higher tax revenues.

5. Net benefit to government revenues. Because immigrants are more likely to be young and working than native-born citizens, they provide a net benefit to government revenues. Working people pay income tax, but don’t receive benefits, such as education, pensions. Young people are less likely to use health care services than old people. For example, the UK government HMRC show that in 2015/16, EEA nationals paid £15.5bn more in income tax and national insurance than they took out in tax credits and child benefit (HMRC, 2018). A study by Oxford Economics (2018) shows that recent migrants from EEA had biggest fiscal benefit (+£4.7bn), non-EEA migrants a small cost (£ -9.0), and UK born citizens the biggest net tax burden (-£41.0bn).

  • Evaluation – The impact of migration does depend on the type of immigrants. In the UK experience, non-EEA migrants have a bigger fiscal cost, because this includes more old-aged dependents who can migrate due to family reasons (therefore negative tax impact). There is a list of different studies on the fiscal impact of immigration here.

6. Deal with an ageing population. Many economies in the west are facing a demographic crunch with a low birth rate and ageing population causing a rise in the dependency ratio (ratio of old to young workers). This puts pressure on social care, tax revenues and government spending. Immigration is the most effective policy to deal with an ageing population, as it allows shortages in health care and social care to be filled with young workers who make a net contribution to government finances and boost the workforce.

7. More flexible labour market. Immigrants are highly mobile. They move to economies when wages are high and demand for labour strong. This helps to prevent a booming economy overheating by providing labour to meet the growing demand. However, less obvious is the fact, that if the economy enters a downturn, migration flows often reverse, meaning they don’t stay to try and get unemployment benefits but return home. A good example is Ireland. In the boom years, pre-2007, the economy attracted many construction workers from the EU. When the property market collapsed many construction workers went home – limiting the rise in Irish unemployment. Immigration helped the labour market be more flexible.

8. Solves a skills shortage. If an economy has a shortage of skilled workers such as nurses and doctors, it would take several years to train new workers. But, the health service cannot afford this wait. Immigration enables the shortage to be filled immediately.

9. Filling undesirable job vacancies. Some types of jobs are often difficult to fill by native-born workers due to low wages and/or the prestige attached to that kind of work. For example, farmers often rely on immigrant workers to pick crops. A decline in immigration to the UK in 2019, led to farmers claiming they were unable to pick the harvest because they couldn’t get the seasonal labour. Immigration provides a benefit to business and employers who rely on flexible labour to fill job vacancies. Also, if low-skilled jobs are filled by migrants, it enables native-born workers to gain better-skilled work elsewhere.

10. Multi-cultural society. Away from economics, some feel that immigration leads to greater cultural diversity, which gives a country a more diverse and inclusive feel. All countries with immigration have absorbed some aspect of foreign culture into their country – be it cuisine, music, literature or political influences.

Cons of immigration

1. Potential negative impact on real wages. It is argued that low-skilled immigrants put downward pressure on wages. The argument is that an increase in the supply of unskilled labour enables firms to fill vacancies with lower wages than previously. Between 2010 and 2018, the UK had a high rate of net migration, but this was also a period of stagnant real wage growth. The impact on wages tends to be greater for the low-paid and those with few educational qualifications. A recent study by the Bank of England found a rise in immigration had a small impact on overall wages – with a 10% increase in immigration – wages fall by 0.31%. A study Dustmann et al (2013) find negative effects of immigration for the lower paid; they found that a 1% increase in the ratio of migrants to non-migrants leads to a 0.5% decrease for the poorest 10%.

  • The impact on wages is uncertain. There are conflicting studies depending on the type of immigration. Most recent studies in the UK suggest if there is a negative effect on real wages it tends to be small. Also, many factors affect wages apart from migration levels.

2. Real GDP per capita could fall. Often supporters of immigration point to how it increases real GDP, and this is true. A rise in the population will ceteris paribus, increase national output. But a more useful measure is GDP per head. If immigration is of low-skilled and/or those not in labour markets, it will lead to a fall in real GDP per head.

3. Structural unemployment. Immigration could lead to some displacement of native-born workers who then experience structural unemployment. For example, if migrants gain unskilled labour because they are willing to work for lower wages. Those native-born low-skilled workers may find it harder to gain new employment in higher-skilled occupations.

4. Pressure on public services. Immigration and a rise in local populations put higher pressure on social services, such as schools, hospitals, roads and public transport. In theory, higher growth would lead to more tax revenue to enable higher spending. But, migration tends to be focused in particular areas (e.g near borders). Local people can feel a deterioration in the quality of public amenities because the population is growing faster than the number of schools. In the UK, the pro-Brexit vote was often highest in areas like Lincolnshire and Dover, which had recently experienced an influx of migrants without any corresponding increase in investment.

  • If migration is more evenly spread out, these problems can be avoided. For example, parts of Scotland suffer from declining populations, but ironically migrants are often attracted to over-crowded areas like the south and London, where other migrants already live.

5. Housing costs If migrants move to areas with limited housing stock, migration can put upward pressure on rents and house prices, reducing living standards and increasing housing poverty for both migrants and native-born population who experience high living costs. In the UK, housing costs are a major problem – especially in areas like London and the south where it has been hard to find places to build new housing. Studies such as the Migration Advisory Committee (2018) found that a 1% increase in the UK’s population due to migration increased house prices by 1%. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) found that between 1991 and 2015 immigration had contributed to a 20% rise in house prices (Study p.76)

Lack of affordability in UK housing has been exacerbated by immigration.

6. Disharmony from rapid immigration. Whilst some like a more multi-cultural society which occurs from immigration, others are less welcoming of this change and feel like their culture and background is threatened by immigrants who don’t fit into their existing society. This is especially an issue with immigrants who don’t learn the native language, have different religions and belief systems and live in mostly isolated communities.

  • Evaluation: Often dislike of immigration is strongest in communities where the rate of immigration is very low. Areas with high rates of immigrants are more likely to appreciate the benefits of immigration.

The Advantages of Family-Based Immigration

Will Family-Based U.S. Immigration Survive? — Shared Justice

Since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965, legal immigration to the United States has been based primarily on the family ties or the work skills of prospective immigrants. Under the provisions of current immigration law, the family-based immigration category allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or “green card” holders, to bring certain family members to the United States. There are 480,000 family-based visas available every year. Family-based immigrants are admitted to the U.S. either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through the family preference system.

The contributions of family-based immigrants to the U.S. economy, local communities, and the national fabric are manifold. They account for a significant portion of domestic economic growth, contribute to the well-being of the current and future labor force, play a key role in business development and community improvement, and are among the most upwardly mobile segments of the labor force. This fact sheet provides an overview of the economic and social advantages associated with family-based immigration. In particular, it highlights the direct benefits resulting from the participation of family-based immigrants in the labor force, their contributions to the community, and the key—yet often underestimated—value of the unpaid care work provided by immigrant women.

1. Families are crucial to the social and economic incorporation of newcomers.

Because of the overall lack of explicit public policies for the integration of new immigrants, families and ethnic communities have traditionally acted, together with the workplace, as powerful integrating institutions. In particular, ethnic communities and families operate as sources of critical resources for newcomers, including opportunities for employment, access to credit, and different kinds of support. In other words, when newcomers arrive on a family-based visa, they have resources readily available to help them navigate the system and become employed or start their own businesses.

2. Family-based immigration has a positive impact on business development and community improvement.

Family ties facilitate the formation of immigrant communities which, in turn, offer a fertile environment for the development of businesses. In this regard, “case-study evidence finds that extended immigrant families and close-knit immigrant communities ease the economic assimilation of new immigrants and promote investment in U.S. human capital as well as the formation of businesses.”

Many of the most outstanding high technology firms have been created by foreign-born entrepreneurs. In Silicon Valley, icon of high-tech innovation, more than half of new companies were started by immigrants, many of whom came to the country on family-based visas. As Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) asserted during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, “I often say I am glad that Google is in Mountain View rather than Moscow. Like eBay, Intel and Yahoo!, Google was founded by an immigrant. But it’s worth noting that none of the founders of these companies came to the U.S. because of their skills.”

Because they recognize the value that immigrant families may have in the revitalization of rundown neighborhoods, local governments in several cities—including BaltimoreBostonDetroit, and Dayton—have launched programs designed to attract immigrants and promote their economic potential. In fact, so called “ethnic neighborhoods” (e.g., Little Italy, Chinatown) have long been used in revitalization strategies in most major American cities.

3. Immigrants who come to the country on a family-based visa tend to move up the socio-economic ladder.

The initial differences in earnings between family-based and employment-based immigrants tend to narrow dramatically over time. Despite concerns about the supposedly lower productivity of kinship-based immigrants in the U.S. labor market, it has been shown that “nonoccupation-based immigration, most of which is family-based, is associated with lower entry earnings but higher earnings growth than occupation-based immigration. The higher estimated earnings growth is sufficient for nonoccupation-based immigrants to catch up with occupationally admitted immigrants after eleven to eighteen years in the United States.”

New immigrants—the majority of whom enter the United States on family visas—have become the most upwardly mobile of American workers. This is explained by their high rates of post-immigration human capital investment. This benefits not only immigrants, but also the economy at large.

4. Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens who immigrate under the family fourth-preference visa category tend to experience high rates of self-employment and high earnings growth.

Empirical research on the economic benefits of immigrants admitted as siblings of U.S. citizens has shown that there are not only humanitarian, but economic reasons to keep this category. In particular, fourth-preference admissions are positively associated with immigrant self-employment. Immigrants who are admitted as siblings of U.S. citizens tend also to have higher initial earnings than family-admitted immigrants in general. In addition, immigrant group with higher fourth-preference admissions appear to experience higher earnings growth over time. These results further suggest that any proposal to remove the sibling admission category would be counter-productive.

5. Family admissions are critical for the “care economy,” which is fundamental for the well-being of household members, helps sustain the current and future workforce, and facilitates women’s labor force participation.

How to move toward care economy? – CIDSE

  • Unpaid health and child care provided in the household largely by immigrant women contribute to the physical, cognitive, and emotional development of household members. Those contributions are instrumental not only to individual well-being, but also to the human development of the country.
  • Because unpaid household and community activities are performed outside the market, they are largely invisible in economic statistics. Groups such as the Pan American Health Organization and the International Labour Organization have highlighted the importance of recognizing the role of unpaid work in the household and the community.
  • Immigrant women who perform their work in the domestic sphere help sustain the current workforce, raise the future workforce, care for the elderly and sick, and play a critical role in household well-being. Their contributions to the economy are, therefore, not only immediate, but will be felt in the future.
  • The economic value of unpaid work performed by immigrants represents a very large portion of the gross domestic product. In particular, “the statistics on time use in different countries suggest that unpaid work contributes to well-being, human capacity building, and long‑term economic growth, while accounting for the highest number of working hours, which may represent over 50 percent of the gross domestic product.”
  • Immigrant women’s participation in the labor force is facilitated by the presence in the home of other relatives. In other words, when other family members (such as parents or siblings) can take care of everyday household needs, women are more likely to participate in the labor market. Family-admitted immigrants who can provide care for the children or the elderly at home are, therefore, a valuable asset for women who work for a salary.

Moving away from the false “brain versus blood” dichotomy

Family and skill-based immigration should not be viewed as mutually exclusive. In fact, if a less family-friendly admission policy were to be adopted, the United States might become less attractive to highly skilled immigrants, who also have families. As economist Harriet Duleep has noted:

“Family visas are…an important complement to high-skilled visas; skilled immigrants have families too. In considering which country to move to, will an emigrating scientist be more likely to move to a country where his family members, including siblings, parents, and adult children, can also live, or to a country where only certain family members are welcome? Would Einstein have continued to live in the U.S. had he not been able to bring over his sister Maja? A family-friendly policy may be one reason the U.S. has been able to attract immigrants with stellar qualifications.”

The concept of family reunification is deeply rooted in American values. However, the positive implications of family-based immigration are not only humanitarian but also economic. Contact us for more information.

Costs in Family Law Matters

Client’s Rights and Lawyers Obligations Under New Costs Legislation

4 Reasons Why You Might Need a Family Lawyer - LRS Blog

One of the most pressing concerns most clients have when they consult a lawyer for family law advice is – how much is this going to cost me?

Quite reasonably the amount of costs a client is likely to incur in resolving a dispute with his or her spouse or partner is something the client is often anxious about and is entitled to understand at the outset.

Providing a “quote” for costs however can be problematic for lawyers too, because at the initial meeting with a client it is not always possible to foresee how the matter will proceed and the costs that are likely to be incurred. There are a myriad of factors which are unforeseeable at that stage such as how the other party and his or her lawyer will conduct the proceedings, what disbursements are likely to be incurred such as fees for valuation reports of real estate and/or businesses in financial matters and family reports in parenting matters to name a few. Importantly it is impossible to foresee whether the matter will be resolved quickly or whether protracted court proceedings will ensue with all the associated implications such as interim hearings, mediation and a final judicial determination.


New legislation governing legal costs in Victoria was introduced in Schedule 1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 which commenced operation on 1 July this year.

Information for Foreign Graduates | Victorian Legal Admissions Board

This new legislation addresses the rights of clients and the obligations on their lawyers with respect to legal costs. Legal costs must be fair and reasonable (and there are more stringent requirements than before to determine what is fair and reasonable), and every client must be provided with information disclosing the basis on which legal costs will be calculated as soon as possible after instructions are initially received including an estimate not only of costs at different stages of the proceedings but also of the total legal costs likely to be incurred if a judicial determination on all outstanding issues is required.

Ranges are no longer permitted.

Importantly, a lawyer must not exceed the cost estimate provided for different stages of work. In the event that this is likely to occur, the lawyer must provide the client with information disclosing the change in costs and explaining why there will be an increase over and above the initial estimate. This information must be provided before the costs exceed the initial estimate.

The legislation also requires that the client understands the costs information that is provided and gives consent to the proposed course of action for the conduct of their matter and the proposed costs to be incurred.

Essentially the new legislation increases protection for the client including stringent requirements with respect to fair and reasonable legal costs and full disclosure as to the costs likely to be incurred with regular review and updating of costs estimates throughout the course of the matter.

Step To Finalize Before Having A Succession Plan - Law Prudentia

At Carew Counsel our costs information details the work to be done at each different stage of the proceedings, the level of skill, experience and seniority of the lawyers undertaking the work and the hourly rates a client will be charged for services.

We are at all times mindful that transparency with respect to costs is very important for our clients.

Carew Counsel is also moving towards quoting “a fixed fee” not only for simple matters but also for different stages of work in complex matters.

If you require further information as to how Carew Counsel operates with respect to costs please do not hesitate to contact us.

Immigration and Family Law

Immigration and divorce negotiations - mediation frederick md

Wise Family Law Division dedicated exclusively to the practice of family law in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and at the highest level. Their attorneys are regarded as leaders in the field and recognized for their expertise and ethical standards. The firm is dedicated to helping clients and their families overcome whatever challenges they might encounter including potential immigration matters. Wise Family Law Division has made a commitment to maintaining close relationships with the best legal professionals in every significant practice area so that they can make confident referrals and know their clients will be protected.

When a client has a possible immigration issue, the attorneys at Grossman Law, LLC serve as a trusted resource. Grossman Law has generously outlined the following general considerations for when immigration and family law converge:

The process of divorce and separation is trying on all parties. But when one or both spouses are not U.S. citizens, the immigration consequences of the failed marriage may make matters even more complicated. Grossman Law attorneys are well versed in the immigration consequences of separation and divorce and are available to guide clients through these difficult times.

You may need immigration counseling during the following stages of marriage, divorce, and separation:

Marriage-Based Immigrant Visa Petition:

A U.S. citizen may petition for a green card for his/her foreign-born spouse. As part of this process, U.S. immigration authorities will interview the couple to ensure that their marriage is “bona fide,” meaning generally that the couple loves each other and intends to build a life and a future together. Grossman Law regularly assists couples in preparing both the forms and documentation to help support a marriage-based petition for green card status. We will also prepare couples for their marriage-based interview and assist during the interview if requested.

If a couple separates or divorces prior to the approval of the green card application, it will impact the non-citizen’s ability to receive his/her green card. Grossman Law assists non-citizen Clients facing these types of issues. Often, this requires a comprehensive consultation to ascertain if the non-citizen is eligible for another alternative basis of obtaining immigration status in the U.S.


Removal of Conditions on Permanent Residency:

If a couple has been married for less than two years at the time the foreign spouse’s marriage-based immigrant visa (green card) is approved, the green card will be considered “conditional.” It will be valid only for two years (rather than for 10 years) and will require that the couple return to US immigration authorities two years later to request removal of the “conditions.”

UAE permanent residency scheme: All you need to know - News | Khaleej Times

To remove the “conditions” on the foreign spouse’s Permanent Residency, the couple must jointly file supplemental evidence of the “bona fide” nature of their marriage, prior to the 2nd anniversary of the foreign spouse’s green card issuance. If the couple cannot file this petition together, this process becomes more complicated. It is possible for a foreign spouse to remove the conditions on his/her residency alone, in certain circumstances, including:

  • Death – the foreign-born spouse must prove that the marriage was valid and bona fide at the time it took place, but the U.S. citizen spouse has since passed away.
  • Divorce/Dissolution – the foreign-born spouse must prove that the marriage was valid and bona fide at the time it took place, but has since been legally terminated.
  • Abuse – the foreign-born spouse must prove that the marriage was valid and bona fide at the time it took place, but the U.S. citizen spouse has since abused or battered the foreign spouse.
  • Extreme hardship – the foreign spouse must establish that his/her removal would result in extreme hardship, meaning hardship at a level significantly greater than that encountered by other foreign nationals removed from the US. USCIS will only consider evidence arising during the two-year period of conditional residence.

Derivative Visa Status:

In marriages where both spouses are foreign-born, it is possible that one spouse’s immigration status derives from the other. Divorce will nullify the “derivative” spouse’s immigration status. When divorcing, the “derivative” spouse will need to evaluate how long s/he has to remain in the U.S. after the divorce is finalized. S/he will also want to evaluate if s/he has any other options to remain in the United States.

For example, consider the hypothetical case of Jane and David – citizens of South Africa who have been married for five years. When USCIS awarded Jane an H-1B visa based on her work as a chemical researcher, USCIS awarded David derivative (H-4) visa status, to enable the couple to come to the U.S. together. David’s visa status is based on his wife’s visa, so if Jane and David divorce, David will lose the basis for his visa status and will no longer be eligible for the H-4 visa.

Grossman Law attorneys help non-citizens facing the same situation like David, and help them explore other options to remain lawfully in the United States.

Domestic Violence:

Abused spouses or children who are not U.S. citizens may be eligible for a few different types of immigration relief:

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – where the abuser is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, the foreign spouse, child, or stepchild may self-petition for an immigrant visa and may be eligible for lawful permanent residency. VAWA beneficiaries are also eligible for waivers on certain grounds of inadmissibility. Despite the name, both men and women are eligible for VAWA status.
  • U-visa – If the abuser is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, the noncitizen may be eligible for a different form of relief if s/he contacts law enforcement and assists in an investigation and, if necessary, criminal prosecution. (This relief is available to unmarry domestic partners as well as spouses). The non-citizen must show that s/he is the victim of a certain qualifying crime, which can include domestic violence or felonious assault. S/he must also obtain a certification from the relevant law enforcement agency or court to confirm victimization and helpfulness.

Additionally, a non-citizen who is charged with domestic violence – either criminally or in a civil protective order case – may find him/herself facing removal from the United States. Perpetrating domestic violence is a ground of inadmissibility, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may use to initiate removal proceedings against certain immigrants.


Compliance with Custody Orders:

Violating a custody order and removing a U.S. citizen child from the United States may be considered international kidnapping. A parent who engages in these kinds of actions may face both criminal and civil immigration consequences (if the parent is not a U.S. citizen).

What Is an Ex Parte Custody Order? | legalzoom.com

Federal law prohibits a parent from removing a child from the United States or keeping a child outside the United States to interfere with another parent’s custodial rights. If convicted, the parent may face fines and imprisonment for up to 3 years.

Engaging in “international child abduction” also renders a person inadmissible to the United States, and may impact his/her ability to return to the United States, even if the person is a lawful permanent resident.

Grossman Law, LLC is a full-service immigration law firm located in Bethesda, Maryland that provides top-notch, professional, and compassionate legal advice and client service in all areas of immigration law. Whatever your immigration issue, Grossman Law attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and reputation to provide you with the quality representation you deserve.

For more information on how a divorce or separation might affect your immigration status or your family, please visit our website or call our office to set up a consultation: 240-403-0913.