Why should you have an attorney from the start?

I get a lot of calls from people who want to hire us after they have already filed a case themselves.  In many of these cases, they’ve already tried to navigate the court system for a while and they’re now contacting an attorney because they’ve reached a brick wall or they know they’ve screwed up somewhere and they’re looking for someone to fix it.

Here’s an example:

Father calls about a custody case that he’s litigating with the Mother.  The child spends equal time with both Father and Mother even though the Father and Mother have separated and live in separate households.  The Father has already filed a case on his own and been to court once.  The first time he’s in court, he doesn’t understand the process and doesn’t understand his rights.  They send him to the Probation department and the Mother claims that the Father has a criminal history so he should be denied parenting rights.  The Probation officer relays this message from the Mother to Father and because Father doesn’t know who the Probation officer is and that the Probation Officer does not have the right to force Father to sign anything – Father signs an agreement saying that Mother has full custody.  Several weeks later, he realizes he might have made a mistake and calls a lawyer.

The problem is, there’s not much I can do for the Father when he calls.  He’s already signed a full agreement and there’s no real appeal because he agreed to it.  He didn’t understand that he didn’t have to sign everything that’s placed in front of him and that if he didn’t understand, he could hire an attorney to represent him.

But an attorney can only do so much.  Sometimes we can’t turn back the hands of time and fix something that was already done in a case.

The moral of the story is that if there is a lot at stake (divorce, property division, children, alimony, etc), contact a family law attorney to help from the start so that your case can be done right from the start.  Sometimes, there are no second chances.


4 Responses to Why should you have an attorney from the start?
  1. The Top Family Law Blogs | CreateAPrenup.com
    November 14, 2013 | 10:54 am

    […] Divorce Lawyer Blog - Gabriel Cheong, Esq. advises on why you should have an attorney from the start, as well as many other family law related posts. He practices at the Infinity Law Group and offers […]

  2. Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer
    December 19, 2013 | 5:03 am


    Your post really helped me to understand why should we have an attorney from the start It has great details and yet it is easy to understand.
    That’s what i was looking for. I will definitely share it with others.

  3. David
    January 9, 2014 | 5:58 am

    Restraining orders typically involve civil disputes and can only be enforced through a civil proceeding. Speak to an lawyer who can help you evaluate your position. Qualified bankruptcy attorneys can help you follow the timeline and ensure that all paperwork is filed.

  4. Miami Divorce Attorney
    February 4, 2014 | 6:55 am

    Children are very sensitive and they need proper attention of their parents. When parents are getting divorce so they should take them into confidence and tell them about the divorce deed.

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