Anytime you are contemplating or engaged in divorce proceedings a great deal is on the line…your emotional and financial wellbeing and that of your family. If you own a family business or are involved in a partnership your livelihood may be affected. The choice of an attorney to guide you through the process and if necessary, advocate your position to a mediator or court is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Communication, reputation, knowledge, skill and experience are all areas you should consider and review with any potential attorney or firm you consider engaging.
You will want an attorney who fits you and your style, particularly of communication. Do not assume that the list of hot names you get from friends or, for that matter, even attorneys who practice in other unrelated areas of the law present your best alternative. Reach out, make some calls and talk to some actual Birmingham divorce lawyers yourself. The relationship between a divorce client and a divorce attorney is unique and different that in virtually any other area of law. So many attorneys practicing in the area of divorce and family law in Birmingham, Alabama focus on their own goals or some generic goal without ever listening to their client. Any divorce lawyer you retain should talk to you about your wants, needs and desires as well as the manner you want to proceed in obtaining those. A victory on particularly a small issue can end up fairly hollow if it costs you the respect of an ex-spouse you will have to have social dealings with in the future or far worse the respect of your children who may see victory as coming at their expense or the expense of someone they care about.
Reputation is also important when selecting a divorce attorney. What do others in the profession think of him? Is he generally known to practice in this area of law? Birmingham, Alabama has a good number of lawyers that specialize in divorce and family law. Shane Oncale is one of those lawyers and The Oncale Firm is one of those firms. There are however many more firms doing general legal work that do not specialize in any particular field of law and do anything that comes through the doors. Still others do primarily criminal work or automobile accidents but take divorce work on the side to make a buck. Unless the facts of your case are extremely simple and your needs very basic you want to avoid the dabblers. Divorce in Jefferson County is very specialized with a separate courthouse and separate slate of Judges that hear those cases. If your attorney is not familiar with and cannot name, the judges that practice on the Jefferson County Domestic Relations bench and tell you a little bit about the likes and dislikes of each judge then you are probably in the wrong place. Any Birmingham divorce lawyer you should consider should also be able to give you an educated evaluation of how the specific facts of your case are likely to be viewed by the current judges on the Jefferson County Domestic Relations bench.
Parts of Birmingham also fall in Shelby County. While most divorce lawyers doing work in Birmingham take cases in Jefferson County not all of them have experience in the divorce courts of Shelby County. Shelby County divorce attorneys are often a different breed as in Shelby County all of the judges hear all kinds of cases and not just divorce cases. Some of the judges in Shelby County enjoy the opportunity to hear divorce cases others do not. It is important in Shelby County to retain a divorce attorney that knows the judges that will hear your case in Shelby County, the way they handle their court, the things that like and don’t’ like to hear in divorce cases and how they typically rule. Experience, knowledge, preparation will always be the key in a Shelby County divorce and your attorney needs to be up for the challenge.Skilled in Divorce, Child Custody and Family law matters
At The Oncale Firm, we slow down ... we talk ... and we work to get it right. Nothing is worse than spending thousands of dollars on an attorney that litigates HIS case rather than YOUR case. If you have a divorce attorney that will not listen to you and give you well-reasoned and explained answers. If your attorney never has time for you, is unwilling to take your calls, sighs and ignores you when you ask questions then you have the wrong lawyer. I cannot tell you how many calls I get from clients who have finally given up on their previous attorney simply because he won’t answer their calls or their questions. There seems to be some sort of confusion as to who works for whom.
Our firm has represented hundreds of clients over more than two decades and has remained focus on personally engaging and involving our clients in THEIR cases. In no area is this more important than divorce and family law. The relationships that are being examined and picked apart must often continue long after the courthouse door slams and the case is closed. You will see your ex at graduations, proms, church, weddings, birthdays, holiday parties, births, baptisms. Often the relationships continue. The tactics employed, the goals set, and the methods used to reach those goals can affect those relationships forever and should not be employed before they are disclosed to you, discussed thoroughly and you consent. It is your case and your life. We never forget that fact.
The Oncale Firm is a full-service divorce, child custody, child visitation, child support, modification and family law firm with more than two decades of knowledge, experience and expertise in handling such matters in the divorce and family courts of Jefferson and Shelby County, Alabama the matters we handle include:
- Custody and visitation
- Child support
- Alimony/spousal support
- Property settlement
- Prenuptial agreements
- Family mediation
- Domestic violence
No two families are alike, which also means that no single approach to the practice of family law will always be effective. For this reason, we take the time to get to know your goals for you and your family. Once we have a full understanding of your situation, we will provide you with the best options for moving forward.
Shane Oncale is an experienced Birmingham divorce attorney. Contact or call The Oncale Firm at 205-458-9805 to arrange a free consultation.