Child sexual abuse can have a lasting, negative impact on a child's development and well-being. While going through the legal proceedings to charge the perpetrator can be difficult, it is the only way to ensure that justice is served and that the abuser does not get the chance to victimize other children in the future. The process will not be easy for you or for your child, but it can be made somewhat easier by hiring the right attorney. Here are some tips for hiring the right attorney to represent your child.
Meet with several lawyers in-person without your child first
Before you bring your child to meet with any attorneys, interview the attorneys yourself. Get a feel not only for the work that they do but for their personalities. You know what adults your child seems to feel most comfortable around. Look for a lawyer who seems to fit with those preferences. The more comfortable your child feels around the lawyer, the more open they will be. The more open they are, the better the lawyer will be able to argue their case.
Meeting with the attorney alone also gives you an opportunity to ask questions you might not want to ask in front of your child. The two of you can openly talk about your child's feelings and experiences without worrying that you'll re-traumatize the child.
Look for someone who specializes
There are attorneys who handle a wide array of cases, including accidents, malpractice, and child sexual abuse. These lawyers may, indeed, do a great job. However, you are even better off looking for an attorney who only handles child sexual abuse cases. This is a very specific and very sensitive branch of law, and the more experience a lawyer has with it, the better. A lawyer who has handled only this type of case for several years or more will be more familiar with the nuances of sexual abuse cases, and they will be better prepared to interact with your child in a kind and caring way — which is a skill all on its own.
Ask about the expected outcome
When interviewing attorneys, ask what they think the outcome will be, based on their own personal experience. Listen to their answers. Don't just listen to what they say will happen with your child's case but why they think that will be the result. You want to hire someone who not only has confidence in a good result but who has confidence in their plan to get that result.
Child sexual abuse cases are not easy on anyone, but with the right lawyer on your side, the experience will be bearable and worthwhile. Contact a local child sexual abuse lawyer to learn more.