In the aftermath of a divorce, the most painful aspect to deal with is the process of settling on a child custody arrangement. While in an ideal world, you would want your child to spend as much time with you as possible, accomplishing that can be selfish and difficult. This is because even though you and your spouse might not be together any longer, the kids have the right to spend ample time with each parent. However, looking beyond the anger and frustration can be almost impossible as your judgment may be clouded by feelings of betrayal or failure. This is why experts recommend hiring a professional and experienced child custody lawyer who can support you throughout the whole process.
A child custody lawyer steers you in the right direction and gives you the clarity that you badly need at a time like this. Before we share with you what to look for in a child custody lawyer, we have underlined some benefits of hiring one.
Benefits of Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer
1. Thinking for Your Child
You may feel like you know what’s best for your child, but actually, at this time you might not be able to make the right decisions. A huge benefit of having a child custody lawyer by your side is that you have your child/children’s interest as your top priority. Such a lawyer will fight for your children and is a strong support that you can trust to make the right decisions.
Some people think what they’re demanding is reasonable and they can thus take over the child custody matters. This is a big mistake and can end up hurting more. You must trust a child custody lawyer to get you a fair deal since they have spent years studying and practicing custody laws and know exactly what is termed as “fair” in the eyes of the law.
3. Professional Experience
You might think you will be able to represent yourself in court, but many people only realize after attempting it once that it is not an easy job. Courtrooms have their standard procedures that must be followed at all costs. Moreover, since the parents tend to get personal when it comes to talking about their children, they cannot prevent their emotions from getting in the way of the proceedings. An experienced child custody lawyer can handle all these complexities for you.
It is not uncommon for one parent to get intimidated by the legal support of the other and settle for less than what they deserve. Thus, you must make sure that you have a child custody lawyer who will tell you exactly what to expect and fight to win that for you. Negotiation dealings can be extremely nerve-wracking and help from a child custody lawyer can make your life significantly easier.
Child support is another very common issue when parents are battling on child custody arrangements. Making your spouse pay their half can be a challenge as couples generally do not reflect their best behavior during these trying times. You must seek help from a child custody lawyer, as a third party can calm things down and let your spouse know that there are certain responsibilities that he/she must fulfill. Other than that a professional will come up with a child support amount that is just and fair and will not let you get manipulated.
6. Timely Decisions
When you are trying to settle matters on your own you can be faced with unnecessary delays since it is rare for both the parties to co-operate. A child custody lawyer can help you speed things up and make sure that everything happens according to a set schedule. You do not have to become a part of frequent fights just because you cannot settle on a schedule that suits both.
What to Look for in a Child Custody Lawyer
Now that you have realized how a child custody lawyer can help you throughout the arrangement process, here are important points that you should keep in mind when looking for a lawyer:
Before you decide on a particular child custody lawyer, you must make sure that he/she has ample experience in dealing with cases similar to yours. A lawyer that has little to no experience might be less expensive but he/she might hurt your case.
At the same time, it is also important to keep a budget in mind so that you know exactly how much you can afford to spend. Look for a lawyer whose rate falls within your budget and find out how long your custody battle is expected to take. You must take into account all the costs before you decide on the child custody lawyer.
Not every lawyer will give you the same level of comfort. You must ensure that you feel comfortable with the particular lawyer you are thinking of hiring. Ask if he/she will be personally handling your case and do not feel reluctant to discuss all the details of your case. If the lawyer is willing to listen to your concerns and answer them at length, you will find it easy to trust him/her.
It is a common and unfortunate situation when you have to constantly ask your lawyer about updates regarding your case. You do not want to be treated as just another case and hence it is recommended to clarify the communication channel during the first meeting. Ask the potential lawyer how often you both will be communicating and what he/she expects from you.
Hiring a qualified child custody lawyer is the best decision you will make for the future of your children. It is better for you to get help from a professional lawyer than handle things on your own to avoid making costly mistakes. Too many parents end up with a schedule that they do not like just because they hired the wrong lawyer or decided to take things in their own hands.