During a divorce, the children are always left in the middle.
Child custody cases are quite complex and tiresome. One of the biggest considerations for parents going through child custody is navigating the process alone or hiring a lawyer.
Representing yourself in court when fighting for custody may seem like a cost-saving option, but it could be very risky if your case is complex. The best option is to hire a family attorney to represent you.
The attorney will effortlessly keep track of essential deadlines, file the paperwork and record any important details related to your case. They also have the experience and knowledge to handle your case.
Below are seven signs you should hire a family attorney for your child custody case.
1. Your Ex-Spouse Has a Lawyer
Do you know if your ex already had a child custody lawyer? If they do, it may be time for you to hire one too.
However, hiring a lawyer doesn’t always mean that the situation will get contentious. It’s explicable if you feel worried due to your partner’s access to legal counsel.
The best family lawyer will have specific knowledge, experience, and education in matters related to family law and child custody. Your preparation and research can’t compare with the lawyer’s experience. They have well-proven strategies and are familiar with the family court system.
2. Your Case’s Circumstances Have Significantly Changed
Sometimes, you may start with a simple case. However, with time, the case may become complicated as more information comes to light. A divorce or legal separation becomes even more complicated if there are children involved.
If you feel that circumstances in your case are changing, it’s best to consult an attorney. Below are some of the things that could make your child custody case even more complicated:
- One of the parents moves in with a new partner or remarries
- A formerly cooperating parent is now combative
- One of the parents isn’t abiding by the custody agreement
- One of you is planning to relocate to a different location
- There is clear evidence of child abuse, domestic violence, and neglect
Child custody cases are very complex. Any new detail could significantly change the case. Difficult and uncooperative parents can also present a challenge for your case.
3. You Don’t Know Much About Family Law
Navigating a child custody case alone requires a lot of planning, strategizing, and research. If you want to represent yourself, you must have a deep understanding of family law to apply to your case. You will also be responsible for keeping track of court dates, deadlines, and paperwork.
If you don’t know much about family law, it’s advisable to hire a lawyer. The attorney will know the intricate details of court processes. They will help you fill out petitions, mediate with you and your co-parent, and represent you in court hearings.
An attorney isn’t just a legal expert- they will act as your advocate. You can have the peace of mind that someone is handling your case and looking out for your best interests.
4. Your Partner Has Changed Their Mind
If suddenly your ex decides to change their mind about sharing the custody of your child, you should hire a lawyer. Sometimes, an ex may try to convince the court that the other parent is unfit to raise the children.
States vary in how custody is decided. However, all courts will look out for the children’s best interest when determining the best custody agreement between the parents. Some parents often use child custody cases to hurt the other parent without considering what is best for the child in the middle of the case.
5. You Have No Access to Your Children Because of Your Ex
Do you feel like your Ex is interfering with the relationship you have with your children? If you are in this situation, ensure you hire an attorney to represent you. If you notice that your ex always cancels visits at the last minute, obstructs your contact with the children, or denies your parenting time, you should get support from your attorney.
Remember to keep detailed documentation of all their attempts to interfere with your relationship and share it with your lawyer. Record all missed parenting times and all minute details surrounding the situation. If you text or call each other, also remember to keep a file of the conversation.
6. You Have a History of Alcoholism or Drug Abuse
Your ex will use your history of drug and alcohol abuse in court in an attempt to paint you in a bad light. Even if you are an occasional drinker or smoke marijuana for recreation in a legal state, expect it to come up in court.
The good news is that such claims against you need to be substantiated. This means that your ex needs to bring forward evidence of the substance and represent it in court. Their lawyer may use your arrest records or your former treatment programs as proof.
You can also be asked to take a blood or urine test to confirm whether you have recently abused drugs or alcohol. If any of the above situations apply to you, it’s wise to hire an attorney.
7. You Believe That Your Kids Are Not Safe
Individuals who leave abusive and violent relationships may face a lot of barriers. Most people are accused of failing to protect their kids by not leaving the relationship sooner. They are sometimes also accused of alienating their children and making false accusations against their partners.
If you feel that your children are unsafe, it’s advisable to consult an attorney. It’s understandable to be worried about the potential consequences. Most abusers continue to torture their victims through the legal process known as litigation abuse.
Abusers weaponize the law and judicial system against their victims. This is especially true for domestic abuse cases. If you feel that your children are in imminent danger, ensure you call 911 and consider getting a restraining order against your partner.
It’s Time to Get a Family Attorney to Handle Your Child Custody Case
When faced with a child custody case, ensure you hire the best family attorney. This will give you a better chance at a fair fight. A family attorney will have the legal knowledge and experience needed to ensure you get a fair outcome.
Did you like this article? Check out other posts on our site for more informative tips.