Can I Work With a Family Lawyer Out of State?
How do I work with a Colorado lawyer when I am out of state? That’s really a very good question. Usually, in most cases, people are both in the state when they’re getting a divorce or dealing with a child custody matter. On occasion, that’s not the case. You might be separated for quite a while before you get divorced, and someone has moved out of state. You got divorced while you were in Colorado, and after the divorce you moved out of state and now you’re trying to modify the child custody arrangement, or modify child support. There are definitely circumstances where you’d be out of state, yet your case is still in Colorado. What do you do?
First of all, you do need to hire a Colorado lawyer. Each state has different rules and different laws, and you can’t have an attorney from Tennessee trying to do a case in Colorado without knowing Colorado law. Yes, you do need to have an attorney here, but we work through that. One of the ways to work through it is you use technology. You find an attorney, you call them, you have your initial consultation maybe over the phone, then the next time you meet, you meet using a video conference. You have an opportunity to see each other face to face, and I think that’s important. You want to be able to have a comfort level with your attorney, and it’s a little difficult to do if you’ve never seen them. I would advise using video conferencing if you’re out of state.
Then, when it comes time for a hearing in your case, if unfortunately you do have to go to court, you probably will need to come to Colorado for the hearing. There are some special circumstances where you can appear by phone, but you have to really show the court that that is absolutely necessary. What are those circumstances? One might be a work situation where it would really be damaging for you to not be where ever you needed to be, and you’d have to make that case to the court prior to the hearing. You’d have to ask to be on by telephone. Another case is usually where people are in the military. I certainly have had cases where my client was in Afghanistan. Obviously, in those situations the courts bend over backwards to assist and make sure we can use telephone communication if somebody is on active duty in a foreign country.
In many cases the courts will insist on you coming and showing up in person for your hearing. If that’s the case, you want to make sure that you’re prepared ahead of time, whether that’s over the phone or whether that’s in person once you make it to Colorado.