There is perhaps no area of the law more contentious than child custody law. The stakes are implicitly high, with the well being of children on the line. And since most child custody cases occur amidst the backdrop of a painful divorce, these family law cases can quickly become intense affairs.
While some people hire divorce lawyers with extensive experience with child custody cases, not all divorces are contested. Sometimes custody issues arise after the fact, and in other cases they occur outside of marriage altogether. So how do you know when you need to hire an attorney for child custody, and how can you ensure you get the best representation available to you?
Think of the Children…
Ultimately, when spouses try and use a child custody case to settle scores, the kids lose, every time. The divorce process is hard enough on children as it is without parents using their children as a negotiating tactic. This is one of the primary reasons people hire child custody attorneys.
When divorcing spouses have trouble speaking to each other civilly, family law attorneys can step into the breach and hash out an agreement. No matter what happens, you’ll want to fight for the outcome that’s best for your children.
Outside of divorce, any time you think your children’s well being or safety might be at risk, it’s important to consider hiring child custody lawyers right away. In cases of abuse, neglect, absence, or heavy substance abuse, it may be necessary to get a parents’ visitation rights taken away, and fast. In these extreme situations, the best child custody lawyers can help find a resolution that protects your children just as quickly.
Want To Keep Your Legal Fees Down? Don’t Pick Up the Phone!
In most situations, lawyers aren’t allowed to give you free legal advice. That means if you pick up the phone to ask them a question about your case, they have to bill you for that time. Many a parents has burned through their retainer too quickly, only to realize in retrospect that they were spending too much time on the phone.
Of course, the best child custody lawyers understand what you need, and will advise you on the best ways to contact them and use their time. Always ask upfront, direct questions about expenses and your budget, otherwise you could end up with attorneys you can’t actually afford.