If you need a lawyer for a child custody dispute, this guide can help. Here are mistakes with selecting child custody lawyers and how to avoid them.
If you’re in need of help with a family-related legal dispute, it’s important that you hire attorneys that you can put your trust in.
Family law is an industry that has a $11.3 billion value today, which shows just how critical it is. The field is filled with pros that understand how to assist with your circumstances, particularly if you are in the middle of a custody dispute.
These tips will help you when you’re selecting child custody lawyers to help you with your situation.
1. Failing to Research Their Experience and Background
Since you’re selecting child custody lawyers, find out how long they have been practicing. Knowing how long they have been Bar certified and practicing law offers insight into their ability to assist you with your hearing or negotiations.
Ask for some referrals and check them out until you are satisfied that you have a lawyer that is best able to protect your interests.
2. Not Studying Child Custody Law
A family lawyer will help you with your case, but developing an understanding of the law is still your responsibility. Every state has different child custody laws, so familiarize yourself with how these cases are addressed in Maryland.
For one, Maryland doesn’t automatically favor the mother or father in a child custody case. They also have various types of custody arrangements that parents can agree to or negotiate.
Examples of some custody arrangement include:
- Physical custody – Refers to physical parenting time, bonding and caring for the child
- Legal custody – Refers to the long-term parent who makes decisions regarding schooling, healthcare, religion, and other matters
- Shared physical custody – Is a type of custody where the child lives with both parents at least 35% of the time
- Joint legal custody – Is a type of custody in which both parents have equal say over the child’s long-term care and their most important decisions
- Emergency custody – A form of custody that happens when someone steps in to take custody of the child because of risk or harm
When you work with a child custody lawyer, they can assist you in pursuing any outcome that you’re looking for, but it helps that you start with a solid foundation.
3. Choosing a Lawyer Without a Family Law Specialty
It’s important that you find attorneys who can deliver results. Always choose lawyers who have a family law specialty so that they are not out of their depth when representing you.
Family lawyers can help you with a child custody dispute, in addition to things like cooperative divorces, uncooperative divorces, child support, and other aspects of family court.
Go through your divorce checklist so that you can understand your needs and have a solid overview of your situation.
4. Disregarding Your Specific Legal Needs
You need a lawyer who is thoroughly familiar with child custody laws, and with plenty of care experience. The reason for this is that no two cases are exactly the same.
Make sure that your lawyer advocates for your specific legal needs, and treats your case with the specific attention it deserves. Prioritize your needs and ask your lawyer plenty of questions during the consultation so that you get the guidance that you need.
A lawyer’s answers to your specific needs is far more important than relying on reviews or prestige alone. Always go with the lawyer that gives you the best possible outcome.
5. Forgetting to Ask About Fees
If you’re in need of an attorney, make sure to ask about how much they charge. In most cases, these professionals charge clients by the hour.
Ask how long they think it’ll take to resolve your child custody case and do the math for yourself based on their hourly rate.
Hourly rates for lawyers who try child custody cases will typically range between $100 per hour and $400 per hour.
Many clients blow past financial conversations in an eagerness to move the case along. These costs will inevitably add up, so it’s essential that you get the lawyer’s fees in writing before you decide who you want to hire.
6. Not Exploring Every Option
People going through child custody issues often rush into hiring a lawyer, to the point that they don’t shop around enough. Explore as many options as it takes for you to be satisfied with the decision.
Schedule at least five different consultations so that you know you were thorough in your hiring process. Research each law firm until you know that your top five is credible and highly reputed.
7. Hiring Lawyers Who Don’t Have Time
When talking to your lawyer, find out what protocols they have to answer your questions and relay information back and forth. Ask about their current case load to see if they have the time and resources to address yours.
Some people mistakenly hire lawyers without finding out whether they have the bandwidth or availability to take on their case. This leaves the client frustrated and feeling as though they’re not getting the attention that their case deserves.
Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting Child Custody Lawyers
These tips are helpful if you’re in need of a lawyer for your case. Selecting child custody lawyers will allow you to get the outcome that you need for your family situation.
Put in the time and effort required to give your case a resolution.
We’re the professionals in Maryland that you need to turn to for your family law needs. Take the time to contact us online or call us at (410)324-6000.