It probably is.

We encourage you to shop around for a lawyer. Not for cost reasons, but to find the best fit. Experience should be a major factor in who you hire. Many years of focused practice is not an unreasonable expectation. Ask an attorney about their past successes, general strategy and the potential outcomes in your case. And as you gather this information, pay attention to your gut feeling about them.

It sounds simple, but when you’re caught up in a legal issue, especially one that’s personal, you can lose perspective. We talk to a lot of people who hire their Illinois attorney without much thought and then start questioning whether they made a bad decision. Sometimes the attorney disappears for long periods of time and never calls them back. Other times, the attorney is rude or seems ill equipped to handle the case.

On the flip side, beware of something that seems too good to be true. A big red flag is when an attorney tells you exactly what you want to hear. We had a caller once who was seeking workers’ compensation payments but didn’t want to pay any child support from his checks. In other words, he didn’t want it to count as income for that purpose. Well, pretty much everything counts as income when it comes to child support. We told him that, because we refuse to sugar coat things in order to get someone’s business as a client.

This caller decided to hire an Illinois attorney who promised him that no child support would have to be paid from his temporary total disability checks. When that turned out to be a lie, he called us back to see if we’d take over his case.

Promising a result is something we never do, because we can’t predict the future. We want you to focus on what’s best for you in the long term, and we do the same. Lying to get a client and to make that client feel better hurts everyone in the end.

If you have a specific concern, like our caller about child support, ask more than one attorney. If you get different answers, talk to a third attorney. Ask for proof if their claim or promise seems too good to be true. In this example, it’s pretty clearly stated in the law that workers’ compensation counts as income for child support purposes, and it would have taken little effort to find this out.