If you’ve recently gone through a divorce and are the parent to one or more children, you may want to consider finding a child custody attorney, especially if you believe your spouse is unfit for childcare or there is contention over child custody rights. Ultimately, in a child custody case, you want the outcome to be the best for your child, not for you or your spouse. If you feel like custody could turn into a grudge match, it might be good to have an objective third party who can fight for the best interest of your child.
Do I Need A Child Custody Attorney?
If you and your spouse parted on amenable terms and are still friendly, you probably won’t need a child custody attorney. The chances are fairly good that you’ll be able to work out agreeable terms between the two of you. However, if the divorce was messy or you feel that the terms as they stand are unfair to your child, you may want to consider hiring a child custody attorney. For parents who will be primarily supporting the child, you’ll want to ensure that you’re receiving the correct amount of child support and for parents who are non-custodial, you want to make sure your visiting rights, custody rights, and amount of support paid are fair as well. Generally, 18% of your total monthly income would go to child support for one child and about 20% for two children. Naturally, this number increases with additional children. Additionally, mothers are generally more likely to receive custody (about 80% of the time).
The child custody lawyer helps you and your spouse find a solution to your problem, instead of having a judge pass down a sentence that decides it–and which may not be agreeable for either party involved.
How To Find A Child Custody Lawyer
Finding a child custody attorney through an Internet search is an excellent way to start, if you have no contacts at all. If you have family members or friends who have gone through a similar situation, you may want to ask them if they can recommend a child custody lawyer. Once you’ve gone through the process of finding a child custody attorney and have found several who you might think will work, start contacting them. You may even be able to contact your state’s bar association for assistance as well. Often, lawyers will offer a free initial consultation, so don’t be afraid to go talk to them.
What To Expect Cost-Wise
Of course, every case differs in the price, but you can expect that your attorney will be paid hourly. The average hourly rate is between $100-$400, although those numbers can be higher or lower, depending on a variety of factors. In very specific cases, they may offer a flat fee, but that’s not the norm. There also may additional fees attached, but those you can discuss with your lawyer.
Although it may seem like an unnecessary extra cost, you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing for your child. Hiring a child custody lawyer may make the entire affair much less stressful and traumatic for all parties involved.