The Role of Court Representation Providers in Family Law Cases
When a family or domestic dispute arises, often family or domestic lawyers become involved in the dispute, with family court representation being the exception rather than the rule. Family and domestic disputes can range from minor disagreements over a property arrangement, to bigger questions such as an ongoing conflict over children or visitation. There are many different routes that these disputes may travel through the court system, ranging from simple negotiations (such as those which result in marital dissolution) to bitter divorce battles. No matter the route that your family or domestic dispute takes, there is a good chance that court representation will be required.
There are two basic options open to you when considering the need for court representation. Your first option is to represent yourself; this will inevitably mean having to hire a private attorney to assist you, and at considerable expense. However, if your dispute is relatively minor, and if you can afford to spend the initial expense of court representation, there is another route to consider. Free court representation is available for many common family law cases.
Court proceedings are generally administered by the court’s calendar and are facilitated by an experienced and competent clerk of court. However, sometimes the clerk of court is unable to continue with routine court proceedings due to illness, vacation or other family commitments. In these instances, it may be necessary for the defendant to seek the services of a pro se attorney. Pro se representation is also often provided to the children of the defendant.
When a family or domestic dispute arises that requires court representation, the first step is to request a court date. A defendant may also choose to make their arrangements for court representation; however, most attorneys provide free court representation. In many instances, an attorney will advise the defendant whether they can successfully pursue free legal counsel without outside representation. If the court decides to proceed without a pro se attorney present, the defendant may still be able to legally obtain legal representation.
The cost of court representation will vary according to experience and qualifications. Family court lawyers will generally charge a flat rate fee for their services. Legal fees will commonly include a percentage of the compensation awarded to the plaintiff in family court, attorney fees, court costs and other charges. Legal representation for domestic violence cases is likely to be more expensive than the same case for divorce proceedings. You must discuss your case with a family lawyer before proceeding with court representation.
Another cost that may be included in court costs is mileage fees. If the defendant chooses to drive themselves to court, they must pay for all fuel used, plus any tolls. In some instances, a defendant may elect to submit to fingerprinting. This requires that a paper trail of the criminal history of the defendant is maintained to track it. In many jurisdictions, the court may require the pro se representation provider to submit to fingerprinting.
Hiring a Family Lawyer
In family law cases, the role of legal representation providers can play a crucial role in determining the outcome of a case. For example, a defendant in criminal charges may wish to have a lawyer that represents them in the courtroom, but may not want one that represents them at the negotiating table. A good family lawyer will understand this dynamic and be able to keep the best interests of the client in mind while ensuring that the client receives the maximum available protections under the law.
Family lawyers will also be responsible for ensuring that all court appearances are completed on time. Scheduling appointments with the clerk of court, judges and other court employees will be a part of court appearances as well. They will also follow court rules such as mandatory court appearances and will perform all necessary paperwork. Therefore, if you are represented by a legal representation provider who maintains excellent court appearance practices, then you will receive the best possible defence in your criminal cases.