As a parent, it can be difficult to determine whether you really need to hire good, qualified child custody lawyers, particularly when cost is a factor. Essentially, what you must remember that the ultimate goal of a child custody hearing is to serve the best interests of the child by determining the most appropriate child custody arrangement. Obviously, there's a lot at stake when it comes to your kids and sometimes it's hard to tell what's best.
To help you make a wise decision, here's a look at the three most important factors you must consider before you decide to hire a child custody attorney to take your case.
Before You Hire Child Custody Lawyers
- Consider your financial resources: When deciding whether to hire a child custody lawyer, the most important consideration is the availability of financial resources. The retainer for a child custody lawyer can be quite expensive, depending on a number of factors—including how many hours it may take to resolve the case, as well as the state in which you live. When considering whether to hire child custody lawyers, ask about the anticipated costs up front. If you reach the conclusion that you are unable to afford a private attorney, remember that you still have options. You may be entitled to free legal aid or low-cost representation through the family court. In some jurisdictions, the court may base your entitlement to free representation on your current income.
- Weigh the complexity of your case: Typically, parents are advised to hire child custody lawyers when facing a difficult or complex child custody issue. For example, interstate child custody cases are usually considered complex. If you are facing a difficult custody case and you feel unsure about representing yourself, you should consider hiring a child custody lawyer who specializes in complex legal issues and has experience in family court. If you decide to represent yourself during your child custody hearing, being well prepared will give you the best chance of winning child custody. If you're not sure where to begin, start by reading up on the child custody laws in your state.
- Consider the attorney's reputation: Many parents decide to hire a child custody lawyer based on the attorney's reputation for winning child custody cases. Look to hire a child custody attorney with experience handling similar cases. And don't be shy about asking for references! This is likely the most important case you'll ever face in your life, and you have every right to investigate the attorney's reputation before signing on the bottom line. If you are eligible for low-cost or free representation, be extra picky about the attorney's reputation for winning child custody, especially contested cases that require representation in court. be sure to ask any prospective child custody lawyer about his or her strategy for winning a child custody cases, too. (This is not rude—it's what it takes to win!)
For more information about hiring a local child custody attorney, visit your state's bar association, as they will most likely retain an active list of child custody attorneys. Alternatively, ask for referrals from trusted friends and family members who have worked with a child custody lawyer in the past.