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Choosing a Child Custody Attorney

How to Choose a Child Custody Attorney


It may be difficult to determine how to find a good, qualified child custody attorney. The ultimate goal for a child custody hearing is to find the most appropriate arrangement that serves the best interests of the child. Here are a few other considerations for a parent who wants to hire a child custody attorney:

What Parents Should Expect From a Child Custody Attorney

A parent who wants to hire a child custody attorney should consider the following:

  • Does the attorney appear to be honest?

Pay special attention to the attorney's tactics and plans to help you win your child custody case

  • Does the attorney have experience in child custody law?

In addition, ask the attorney how long he/she has been practicing child custody law and how many cases he/she has settled without a long court case.

Fees Associated With Hiring a Child Custody Attorney

Parents should also have an understanding of the fees associated with hiring a child custody attorney. A child custody attorney may utilize the following fee structures:

  • Flat fee
  • Hourly rates
  • Combination of both, based on services provided

Parents who are interested in hiring a child custody attorney should be aware that a child custody attorney may request a retainer. A retainer is a lump sum of money, paid in advance for legal services to be rendered. A retainer is sort of a payment in advance. Each child custody attorney may set his/her own retainer. A retainer will be based on the following:

  • Number of anticipated hours it will take to complete case
  • Complexity of the case
  • Going rate of legal services in your city and state

Child Custody Attorney's Strategy

A parent interested in hiring a child custody attorney should speak with a qualified custody attorney about potential strategies for resolving the custody dispute. A parent should understand whether a child custody attorney is:

  • Collaborative - Examples of the collaborative approach include mediation or arbitration where all parties work together to arrive at the best solution for the children and the parents.
  • Adversarial - An example of an adversarial approach would be a child custody attorney who settles cases through long, arduous court battles, which may be expensive and emotionally draining.

For more information about choosing a child custody attorney, ask friends or family members for referrals. You may also obtain referrals from your State's Bar association.

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