An Overview of Austin Family Attorneys
It’s imperative that anyone having a family issue involving the courts know how to find the right Austin Family Law attorneys to choose from. Family Law is crucial in the state of Texas. And in particular, if you happen to be a citizen specifically in the city of Austin, there are some issues you have to know about certain aspects of Family Law:
1. The Laws for Marriage
2. The Laws of Divorce
3. The Juvenile Laws
They’re county and even state-specific. That means if any issues arise out of these specific cases within Family Law, the case must be handled in the county or even within the local ordinances – in this case, that would be Austin, Texas.
A Basic Understanding of Family Law in Austin, Texas
Generally, Family Law applies all over Texas and not just the city of Austin. Family Law deals with several sub-niches, such as:
- Divorce Law
- Marriage Law
- Adoption Law
- Surrogacy Law
- Guardianship Law
- Juvenile Delinquency Law
You can expect Austin Family Law attorneys to specialize in any of these. So in a nutshell, know your case. More importantly, though, Austin Family Law attorneys are essential to have for a lot of reasons –
- “Common Law” Marriages
- Annulments and Why They’re Important
- How “Joint Custody” Is Viewed in Texas
- Understanding Laws for Emancipation
- Dealing With Domestic Violence
And a number of other issues. Austin Family Law attorneys deal with all of that.
The Ethics of Austin Family Law Attorneys
The important thing, though, is to know that all Austin Family Law attorneys abide by a certain code of Ethics outlined by the Texas Bar Association, which states several things:
- Rules on Fees and Rates
- Rules on Client-Attorney Communication
- Rules on Authority
You can expect three different types of fees/rates Austin Family Law attorneys can charge legally:
- Hourly Rates
- Flat Rates
- Retainer Fees
- Contingency Fees
The rate or fee does, however, need to be approved by the Texas Bar Association – and if it does seem excessive, the Bar can actually bring that up and charge the suspected attorney with an unlawful practice. The Bar is very particular about it.
Hourly rates are pretty standard and should reflect the type of work and only work done in the courtroom. Anything done outside of the courtroom cannot be billed hourly. As for flat rates and retainer fees? A lawyer – as long as there’s a legal written agreement – can charge what’s called a “retainer fee,” which is simply the fee charged before work is actually done on the specific case. Flat rates work similarly, except can be charged anywhere during the case, even at installments, or however the attorney outlines for the client.
On the subject of contingency fees – only for cases involving litigation, or in other words lawsuits, can a lawyer charge a contingency fee. A “contingency” is basically a fee charged at the end of the case, typically when the case has been decided in favor of the client for a specific settlement.
A lawful contingency fee usually is written down as an agreement, signed and dated, and outlines the percentages of the settlement as payment for the attorney. This is common practice for all Austin Family Law attorneys.
When it comes to communication, by law basically all attorneys under Family Law must keep clients up-to-date about everything going on about the particular case. However, attorneys must do what the clients want, so long as what the clients want is within the guidelines of the Bar or aren’t illegal either in the state or in the country.
Furthermore, attorneys do have authority in the courtroom, but can also limit their scope if the situation demands it. The law does state that clients do have a say in informed decisions within the courtroom.
For instance: if a client wants to give up physical custody of a child in a divorce petition – even though by law the client doesn’t have to – no matter what the personal feelings are of the attorney, the attorney must support that decision completely and follow through on it.
How to Research for Austin Family Law Attorneys
There’s a process when it comes to researching for Austin Family Law attorneys. When it comes to advertisements, by law all Austin Family Law attorneys are allowed to be listed in phonebooks, listed online, listed basically anywhere –
But Austin Family Law attorneys are not allowed to advertise their track records. That means simply attorneys under Family Law must be sought out by clients. And there’s a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it.