Going through a child custody case be extremely and emotionally draining. Having experienced child custody lawyer by your side a huge difference in the outcome of your case and provides much-needed support and guidance during this challenging process. But how do you know if hiring a child custody attorney is the right move for your specific situation?
Conflict with your co-parent
If you and your child’s other parent communicate effectively and agree on major custody decisions, you may be able to come to reasonable compromises on your own or with the help of a mediator. However, if conversations often turn into arguments filled with accusations and the co-parent strongly opposes your wishes for custody arrangements, bring in a lawyer to navigate contentious negotiations. Severe parental conflict typically warrants experienced legal representation.
Attorneys who specialize in child custody cases do not come cheap. Expect to spend upwards of $200 an hour for a lawyer’s time. If funds are limited, you may opt to represent yourself or see if you qualify for free or low-cost legal aid. But for complex custody matters, the investment in a lawyer is usually money well spent to help ensure the best interests of your child.
Consider how much is at stake
If the custody stakes are high, such as if your co-parent seeks sole physical and legal custody of your child, the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer becomes critical. When so much is on the line, you need an experienced professional to educate you on your rights, build the strongest case possible, and aggressively represent your interests before the court.
Complexity of your situation
Is your child custody lawyer relatively straightforward with two capable parents or are there complicating factors like mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, or criminal records? The more complicated the circumstances, the more beneficial having a skilled lawyer is to help deal with sensitive issues and know how to present your side effectively. Simple cases may not warrant the expense of representation.
Navigate the system
Maneuvering through the legal system when children are involved is confusing with many procedural rules and paperwork requirements. If you have limited knowledge of family law and get stressed out dealing with bureaucracy, a lawyer the ropes, deadlines, and inner workings of the court system and provides valuable peace of mind.
Schedule and bandwidth
Pursuing a custody case while juggling work and parental responsibilities be draining a lawyer lifts some of the burden by issuing filings, handling communication with the court, gathering evidence, and managing deadlines so you focus on your children’s needs. If your schedule is jam-packed, legal help is key.
Does public speaking tie your stomach in knots? Do you freeze up and go blank when under pressure? If you lack the confidence and oral advocacy skills to represent yourself in front of a judge, the assistance of a lawyer is pivotal. Master litigators know how to present persuasive and compelling arguments in court.