Are you trying to decide whether you really need to get a child custody lawyer? While representing yourself pro se is always your choice and your prerogative, there are undeniably times when determination and grit just aren’t enough. Here are 7 reasons to consider why you really should think twice about going into the courtroom without getting an experienced child custody lawyer.
Your Ex Has a Custody Lawyer
If you already know your ex has hired a private child custody attorney, then it’s time for you to think about hiring a child custody lawyer, as well. If money is a deciding factor, seek free legal aid in your area.
The last thing you would want is to feel as though your case didn’t end up the way you wanted because your ex hired a lawyer and you didn’t.
Your Case Has Become More Complicated
Sometimes you start out with a rather simple case that becomes increasingly complex as you go along. For instance, you learn that your ex has changed her mind about sharing child custody, or you believe that he’s going to try to convince the court that you are unfit to have the kids overnight. These complications would need to have the help of a custody lawyer if you want things to turn out well for you.
Your Case Crosses Jurisdictions
If you and your ex live in different states or maybe different countries, then you should consider getting a custody lawyer to represent you. Nevertheless, you should still do the best you can to learn about the child custody laws impacting your case, especially if it is international.
Hiring a legal counsel is generally recommended for any inter-jurisdictional cases.
You Believe Your Children Are in Danger
The price of losing your child custody case is just too high when your children’s safety is on the line. Additionally, any time you believe your children are in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1. In this type of scenario, you should also consider getting a restraining order, just as well. If you are concerned about potential repercussions, discuss your concerns with your lawyer.
This is a situation that always warrants qualified legal representation.
Your Ex Is Trying to Stop You From Seeing the Kids
If your ex is trying to limit your contact with your children, denying visits, or cancelling at the last minute, then you should consider getting an attorney to represent you. These types of behaviors could indicate that you will need a well-qualified, custody lawyer by your side in court.
The Circumstances of Your Case Have Changed Significantly
Lastly, if either your circumstances or your ex have changed drastically, then you will want to hire a custody lawyer to represent you. For instance, if either of you is remarrying, relocating, or even moving in with a significant other, it may be a good idea to hire a custody lawyer rather than representing yourself pro se.
Before You Hire a Child Custody Lawyer
Consider Your Financial Resources
When considering to hire a child custody lawyer, the most important factor is the availability of financial resources. The retainer fee for a child custody lawyer can be quite costly, depending on certain factors including the duration it may take to resolve the case, as well as the state in which you live. When deciding whether to hire child custody lawyers, be clear about the anticipated costs upfront. If you are unable to afford a private attorney, remember that you still have a few other options. You may be entitled to free legal counsel or low-cost representation through the family court. In some jurisdictions, however, the court may base your privilege to free representation on your current income.
Consider the Lawyer’s Reputation
A lot of parents weigh in on their decision to hire a child custody lawyer based on the lawyer’s reputation for winning child custody cases. This is probably the most important case you will ever face in your life, and you have the right to investigate the attorney’s reputation before signing on the bottom line and paying for their services. If you are eligible for free representation, be extra picky about the lawyer’s reputation for winning child custody cases.