When you are looking for an attorney to assist you with your Family Law matter, you are likely experiencing one of the most challenging times of your life. During this time, you will certainly want a family law attorney who has expertise and significant experience in Family Law. Certified Family Law Specialists in California have demonstrated ethics, education, expertise and excellence in the area of Family Law by meeting the following requirements:
- passage of a written examination in the area of Family Law
- practiced law continuously for at least five years, spending at least 25 percent of the time given to occupational endeavors practicing in area of Family Law
- completion of continuing education in Family Law. A Certified Family Law Specialist must complete at least 45 hours of continuing legal education every three years. The requirement for attorneys who are general licensees of the State Bar of California is only 25 hours every three years.
- demonstration of broad-based and comprehensive experience in Family Law based on completion of a variety of matters in the specialty area. These matters include trials and long hearings, participation in stipulated settlement agreements, participation in negotiated marital settlement agreements, serving as a judge pro tem, participation in family law stipulations for temporary orders
- favorable evaluations by other attorneys and judges familiar with the attorney's work in Family Law
There are approximately 216,000 attorneys in California and only a small percentage, less than 1%, are Certified Family Law Specialists. An attorney who is a Certified Family Law Specialist will use the initials CFLS or CLS-F after their name. The other tell-tale sign of a specialist is the display of the Board of Legal Specialization logo on the attorney’s email, correspondence, and website.
In addition to having expertise and extensive experience in the area of Family Law, your lawyer should be accessible. You will likely have many questions about the substantive area of family law and legal procedure and how the laws and procedure affect you, your case and potential outcomes. Your attorney should be available to you and should be able to answer your questions accurately and in a way that you understand. Family law cases are challenging and hiring a Family Law Specialist with whom you feel comfortable talking and who is responsive to your calls and email messages during this time will make you feel more at ease and certainly better informed.
Be prepared to share important details of your relationship, your marriage, your children, and your finances. Your attorney should guide the conversation so that the attorney efficiently gathers the most important details and asks questions to acquire a better understanding of you and your legal matter.
Finally, take the time to speak with several attorneys prior to hiring a Family Law attorney in San Diego. Speaking with prospective attorneys will give you an indication about their style and their understanding of your legal issue.
If you are looking for an attorney in San Diego with demonstrated expertise in Family Law, contact Yvonne M. Rizzo, CFLS.