One of the things that can make divorce a long and arduous process is arguing over child custody. If parents can’t agree in advance about how to divide custody and visitation, they will have to mediate this decision or go in front of a judge, who will determine what is in the child’s best interests. The child’s best interests are actually what concerns child custody court altogether. North Carolina’s laws require the court to evaluate what “will best promote the interest and welfare of a child” by examining all relevant factors of the child’s life. If you’re thinking about hiring a child custody attorney, there are a few questions you should ask yourself in advance.
Question 1: What Is Your Budget?
If you and your spouse can’t agree on child custody, you must hire a lawyer to defend you in court if you decide to skip mediation. However, lawyers are incredibly expensive to hire. Retaining an attorney can be expensive depending on several factors, including how long it takes to resolve your case. If you think you need to hire an attorney, do your research and calculate how much you can afford to pay. If your budget doesn’t allow you to hire a private attorney, you do have other options. Many states offer legal aid or low-cost representation through the family court. In some counties, the court may base your entitlement to free representation on your current gross income.
Question 2: How Complex Is Your Case?
Hiring a child custody lawyer is only necessary in cases where a divorcing couple cannot agree on how to split custody and visitation. For instance, if both parents want full physical custody and are unwilling to budge, you will need legal representation in court to best argue your case. Alternatively, if your spouse lives out of state, you might be dealing with interstate child custody, which is incredibly complex and will need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.
Question 3: How Is the Lawyer’s Reputation?
If you have decided hiring a lawyer is both necessary and in your budget, the next thing you need to do is research an attorney to hire. Many parents choose to hire child custody attorneys based on the lawyer’s reputation or from family or friend recommendation. When looking for a good lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask about attorney’s fees and ask for references. This court battle will be one of the most important ones you will ever face, and you have the right to thoroughly vet the person who will be representing you in court. Make sure to find someone who has worked on child custody cases successfully for previous clients.
If you need help with a child custody case, talk to our skilled North Carolina child custody attorneys at Krusch & Sellers, P.A. Our firm practices family law exclusively, which means we are knowledgeable about the ins and outs of North Carolina and South Carolina family law and are not distracted by other legal areas. Our lawyers are committed to providing high-quality, courteous, and dedicated legal service. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (704) 343-8811 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with us today.