It may be beneficial for those involved in child custody cases to hire a qualified child custody attorney, particularly if the child's other parent also has legal representation. This section includes an article explaining how a lawyer can help you achieve your custody or visitation goals, along with access to a directory of custody and visitation attorneys in your state, county, city, or metropolitan area. Additionally, you will find general information to help you get the most out of using an attorney, like details on how fee agreements work, legal fees, and other matters related to hiring lawyers.
Using an Attorney for Custody or Visitation: Overview
Child custody is almost always a high-stakes process, involving the welfare and living arrangements of one's own children. Emotions typically run high during these proceedings, although the actual decisions and eventual court order are based on the interpretation of specific laws. Therefore, it usually makes sense to hire a child custody attorney (or divorce lawyer), who can remain calm and focused on the details of your case. And if the other party has legal representation, you're at a disadvantage if you decide to go without a lawyer.
Common Legal Issues Pertaining to Custody Cases
There are certain issues that custody cases always address -- primarily, where the child will live and what the visitation schedule will entail. Both parents usually retain legal custody of the child in the best interest of the child. However, courts will consider different factors, and depending on those factors, might decide on a different timesharing parenting schedule.
But other legal issues that an attorney can help address include the tax implications of a custody order; determining which court has jurisdiction over the case; and the visitation rights of grandparents, to name a few. Every case is at least a little unique, often requiring the experienced hand of a lawyer.
Legal Fees, Legal Costs, and Fee Agreements
Regardless of the legal issue at hand, you want to make sure you fully understand the fee agreement and how your attorney will charge for his or her services. The arrangement determines legal fees; so make sure you know how it will ultimately affect your pocketbook before you agree. Your attorney may have a fixed hourly fee, a contingency fee, a flat fee for the entire process, or some other kind of arrangement.
In addition, you will be billed for various legal costs. These are the extra things an attorney pays for in the course of your case. This includes costs such as paralegal time, postal charges, photocopying, consultants, travel expenses, and court reporter costs. Such costs should be itemized on your bill.
Find the Right Attorney for Your Child Custody Case
Child custody can be a complicated issue, especially when emotions are already high in the midst of a divorce. A well-versed attorney can help provide valuable legal advice to help you navigate this area of the law.
Get started by speaking to an experienced family law attorney today.