When you trust someone to advocate on your behalf, you want to have full confidence in this person’s ability to represent you. You also want to make sure the two of you have what it takes to establish an effective working relationship. Hiring a family law attorney is an investment, so it is wise to make efforts early on to research each potential attorney and improve your chances of finding the right fit for you.

So, before you sign on with a family law attorney, consider the following three tips.

Tip #1: Perform your own due diligence.

A great place to start looking for a family lawyer is with your friends, family members and neighbors. If you know someone who used a lawyer for similar circumstances, get their take on who they used, and find out if they can offer any recommendations. Additionally, nowadays there is a wealth of information about attorneys available on the internet, so a simple search of an attorney’s name may help you narrow down your options.

Tip #2: Shop around.

As is the case with most significant investments, you probably do not want to immediately sign on with the first attorney you meet. Identify three or more lawyers you might consider working with as you navigate your divorce, custody hearing or what have you, and then find out more about their fee structure and experience in the area you need assistance. In some cases, fee structure alone may help you eliminate potential lawyers, as some may simply fall beyond your budget.

Tip #3: Be on alert for warning signs.

When you initially expressed interest in possibly hiring a particular attorney, did he or she get back to you promptly? When you sat down to discuss the details of your case, did the lawyer take other calls during your meeting? These are examples of attorney behavior that may signify a red flag. If a lawyer cannot devote enough attention to you during a brief introductory meeting, how can you have faith he or she will do so when handling your case?

By making note of these three tips, you may have an easier time finding an attorney that fits your needs, personality and budget.