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.