The Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer for Your Child Custody Case
Child custody issues are stressful events. Legal proceedings dealing with these events can be long and complicated, especially because the law is different in every state. Many parents find it hard to maintain civility, objectivity, and overall composure in these cases—whether they are negotiating towards a settlement or litigating the case in court. In an effort to save time and money, many individuals believe that they can handle a child custody battle on their own without the assistance of an attorney. However, it is often detrimental to your interests to proceed “pro se” in custody matters. In this blog, we explain some of the most important advantages to hiring a family law attorney to handle your child custody case:
- Child custody laws are complex and require the experience and knowledge of a family law attorney. Family law matters such as divorce and custody are governed at the state level. That means that each state and each court has its own set of child custody laws and courtroom procedures, including filing, notice, conferences, and trials. Hiring an attorney who is experienced in handling child custody issues will not only save you time and money in the long run but will always significantly reduce the stress of having to learn the laws of your state, negotiate or litigate your case, and handle the entire process by yourself. An attorney can explain the process to you and how your case is likely to proceed.
- An attorney will work to advance your interests. An attorney is hired to represent your interests. In child custody cases, whether you are seeking custody (physical and legal) or child support payments, an attorney knows how to proceed to fight for your rights and get you a child custody resolution that is fair and beneficial for you.
- An attorney will help remove the stress of legal proceedings by staying objective. As mentioned, it is easy to become emotional and stressed when negotiating custody issues. If you go before a judge to present your case, you may become defensive and aggressive towards the other parent asserting custody. This will reflect negatively on your custody position in front of the judge. The judge is trying to determine which parent is more cooperative, amicable, and collected and, consequently, which parent is able to better ensure that the best interests of the child is maintained. An attorney can represent you in this light.
- An attorney can help you resolve child custody disputes without involving the court. Many individuals prefer to settle their custody arrangement outside of court. Litigating custody issues before a judge can be an extremely stressful and tense experience. For instance, mediation has become a popular alternative dispute resolution whereby the parents, their attorneys, and a neutral third-party work through all custody issues and reach a conclusion. However, if the parties are unable to reach a conclusion based on negotiations, meditation, or other out-of-court approach, the court will have no choice but to get involved and resolve these issues in order to ensure that the best interests of the child are always promoted. In any event, an attorney can guide you through these proceedings.