Choosing the right child custody attorney for your case is essential and should not be taken lightly. You want to select someone you trust, who understands the special bond shared between children and their parents, and who will always act in your child’s best interest.
Several factors need to be considered when choosing a child custody lawyer. It is important to look at the attorney’s experience with family law, child custody cases, and his knowledge of the judges in your area. The attorney should be frank about whether he is experienced enough to handle your case or if you might be better suited with someone else.
Make sure that the lawyer is also familiar with local family court procedures and judges. Again, it is essential to choose someone who knows the history and decisions of these judges.
Make sure that the attorney is willing to take your case all the way, if necessary. Most family law attorneys offer a free consultation, so make use of it. At this time, you should ask any questions you have regarding fees, scheduling, and how long things are likely to take.
Here are a few questions you should ask your child custody attorney:
Do you have experience with custody cases involving small children?
If you have small children, your child custody attorney must understand the unique needs of young children. For example, many attorneys are skilled at negotiating with other parties but fail to understand how this could upset small children. You will also likely need to meet with your lawyer often to discuss sensitive issues with your child present, and you want someone comfortable in a room with a small child. Finally, of course, the attorney must be willing to take your case to court if necessary.
Do you know any family court judges in my area? Do you have a good rapport with them?
You will be spending time in your child custody attorney’s company, and he must be respectful of your wishes as well as understanding. You also want to choose someone who knows the history and decisions of these judges so they can give you their insight. If you feel that the attorney does not respect your wishes, then it is time to interview another child custody lawyer.
Do you charge a retainer fee? If so, how much is it, and what does the fee cover?
Child custody lawyers tend to have different fee structures. Some might charge by the hour, while others will use a flat rate for their services. It is generally a good idea to ask about a lawyer’s fees during your initial consultation session. Some lawyers will only charge you if they are successful, meaning that you pay very little or nothing at all unless your case is resolved in your favor.
How much time will the entire process take? Will I have to come into your office often?
There can be many up and down throughout a child custody case, and you want to be sure that your attorney does not let negotiations drag on. You also need someone willing to take the case to court if necessary, which can take time and money. Make sure you understand precisely how much time and money a lawyer is projecting for your specific case so you can budget accordingly.
Child custody law is a very complicated and delicate matter. You need to find someone who understands the intricacies of family relationships and how to navigate the child custody legal system.
The best way to find an attorney that you feel confident representing your interests is by meeting with them first. For most people, this entails several visits over several months. It is crucial that you feel comfortable with your Houston child custody attorney and confident in their abilities, so it pays to take the time to find someone who fits this description.
Once you have found a lawyer, keep in touch throughout the process. You may want or need advice even years after your initial consultation session. Also, be very frank with your lawyer about how you feel at all times. You want someone who understands the sensitive nature of family law issues and is compassionate toward your situation.