There are a variety of reasons for hiring a child custody lawyer. Read about them here to see if any of them might apply to you.

Over the past decade, lawmakers across the country have been pushing for more co-parenting bills for separating parents. As of 2017, 25 states—Maryland among them—have shared parenting bills that apply to parents in no-fault divorces.

This trend might tempt you into thinking that you’ll have few problems getting joint custody. However, without a child custody lawyer on your side, this outcome isn’t guaranteed.

Child custody cases can grow messy fast. Worse, it’s hard to predict the best steps forward if you’ve never dealt with legal proceedings before. If you haven’t already hired a child custody lawyer to represent you, here are three reasons to have one on your side.

1. Better Chances of Winning Custody

In an ideal world, both you and your ex-spouse would agree to partial custody of the kids, right down to the details of when and where.

Of course, it’s rare for child custody cases to be so straightforward. Both parents—understandably—often want as much access to their children as possible. Because of the fraught emotions involved, these cases can grow bitter and brutal fast.

To help improve your chances of winning full or partial custody, reaching out to a child custody attorney is your best bet. This is true even if you consider yourself to be the ideal candidate for full guardianship, as your ex may be more likely to win custody if they have a lawyer on their side. It’s especially true if you’re worried that your history of drug abuse, mental illness, or criminal activity will affect your case.

Child custody lawyers have a thorough knowledge of the legal nuances that pertain to your case. A reputable attorney will also have a wealth of experience to pull from, allowing them to explain how courts make custody decisions. These decisions often depend on not only the mental and physical health of each parent, but the child’s age, the emotional bonds between each parent and child, and each parent’s ability to provide for a child.

A lawyer will also be able to help you avoid costly mistakes, from missed deadlines to withholding visitation from your ex. In terms of digging for the evidence you need to prove your case, an experienced attorney can be a lifesaver.

The bottom line is this: if you want custody of your children, you can’t afford not to have the right attorney on your side.

2. Minimize the Impact on Your Child

Though the battle for child custody takes place between you and your ex, it’s crucial to remember the impact it will have on your children.

While an attorney won’t tell you what you should and shouldn’t want for your family, they can help you understand which realistic outcomes you can expect to secure. They can also help you understand what’s in your child’s best interests. In the case where your full custody is best for your children and a realistic outcome, your attorney will help you fight to make it a reality.

It’s even more important to minimize the impact on your child if you believe they are in danger.

If your ex-spouse is violent, or if you believe the living conditions in their home are dangerous, it’s crucial to work with an expert. This is also true if you think that your former partner might be neglecting your child.

An attorney for child custody can help you seek emergency relief from the court. This can ensure that your case won’t put their health or well-being at risk.

In addition, whether or not you think your children are in danger, there’s one last factor to consider when it comes to minimizing your case’s impact on your kids: the timeline.

If you have no experience with the legal complexities of a child custody case, you’re likely to run into frequent issues that will cause delays. The need for legal research and documentation, as well as the hunt for any necessary evidence, can take away time you’d want to spend with your children. Worse, longer cases mean that your child has to stay in limbo for longer, often with a complex visitation schedule and arguing parents.

With an attorney on your side, you can be sure that you’ll fulfill all of the legal requirements of your court case with less stress and effort. Your attorney can ensure the speedy resolution of your case, getting you faster custody of your child and helping them get the stability and comfort they deserve.

3. Keep the Peace Between You and Your Ex-Spouse

Though it may be hard to imagine a peaceful resolution with your ex at the moment, a lawyer may be your best bet for making it happen.

Working with a lawyer means improved communication between you and your former partner. If desired, your lawyer can act as a single point of contact for your spouse and their legal team. This means you won’t have to speak to your ex at all during the case, which can make it easier to keep tempers at bay.

For ex-partners who have and want to maintain an amicable relationship, working with a lawyer may feel like coming out with your guns blazing. However, the truth is that child custody attorneys can help keep things objective, carrying out impartial negotiations on your behalf that keep the situation from growing tense.

Work With a Child Custody Lawyer

If you’re worried about protecting your children, hiring a child custody lawyer is always a smart move. From helping you get custody to minimizing the impact on your child, a lawyer can help you fight for what’s best.

At Blattner Family Law Group, we’re determined to make sure our clients have the right to quality time with their children. To learn more about how our team can help advocate on your behalf, reach out for a free consultation today.