If you’re going through the process of determining a child custody arrangement, it can be tough to know if this is something you can do on your own or if you need to hire a child custody attorney. Here are some things to consider that will help you figure out what’s best for you.
Do you and the other parent agree?
In most cases, both parents agree on what kind of arrangement will suit everyone the best when it comes to child custody. If this is the case, using a legal document preparer can be a great way to formalize the arrangement via filing all the required paperwork. Using a legal document preparer is less expensive than using an attorney, yet you’ll get what you need in terms of confidence that all required forms have been filled out correctly.
Mediation is an option
If you and your child’s other parent don’t agree on what would be a fair arrangement for child custody, consider using a mediator. Again, this can be less costly than the use of an attorney, yet can still help you get to where you want to be in terms of settling on a mutually agreeable arrangement for child custody. Once an agreement has been reached, a legal document preparer can help you file all forms required to finalize everything.
When to hire a child custody attorney
If you and your child’s other parent can’t come to an agreement on your own, or via mediation, it may need to go to court. If that’s the case, it’s usually advisable to get the help of a child custody attorney. A lawyer can be a huge help for complicated cases too, such as when one parent will be living out of state. When choosing an attorney, make sure that they have experience with similar cases, as well as good references. If you can, ask family or friends who have gone through a child custody battle if they can recommend a good lawyer to you – referrals can be one of the best ways to find someone you can trust to represent your interests in court. Before you make your final decision on who to hire, confirm what you should be expecting to pay for their services, and what strategy they plan on using to help you win your case.
Decide on whether or not you need to hire a child custody attorney
It’s usually less stressful if you and your child’s other parent can come up with a fair agreement about custody on your own, or with the help of a mediator. Another bonus of this is that it’ll save you a lot of money compared to hiring an attorney and battling over custody in court. And remember – not hiring an attorney does not mean you have to do everything by yourself – a legal document preparer can help guide you on what forms need to be filled out, plus make sure everything is filled out correctly.