It can be terrifying to think about having to fight for the opportunity to spend time with your kids. But, having an experienced gig harbor custody attorney on your behalf can make a huge difference. These attorneys specialize in family law and have extensive knowledge of custody disputes.
In many cases, spouses can arrange a custody arrangement outside of court by working together besides keeping the kids’ best interests in mind. However, there are situations when one parent’s viewpoint on what is best for the kids is very different from that of the other.
What to Ask a Child Custody Attorney?
- Similar situations: What is your background in custody disputes, and what kind of outcomes have you seen? What approach do you take in situations like mine?
- The district court: Have you ever worked in the court where I will present my case?
- Mediation: Do you favor litigation over alternative conflict resolution, such as mediation? (Remember that trial costs will be much more than going to mediation and settling with your ex.)
- The second attorney: Do you have any prior experience collaborating with or opposing the other lawyers representing me in this matter?
- Cost: How much do you bill per hour? Will there be a retainer charge? (Most lawyers will request a retainer, which is a large sum that will be placed into a separate account and subtracted from when your expenditures climb.)
- Monetary options: Are credit cards accepted here? Is there a cost associated with using a credit card?
- Other employees: Who else is going to be handling my case? (It’s vital to ask how well the lawyer will conduct your case; you’ll like to know how you’ll be approaching support staff with inquiries or will have a connection to the lawyer directly.) Lawyers in some legal firms will assign casework to support staff members like paralegals, associate lawyers, or secretaries.
- Pay scales: When a paralegal or secretary handles my case, do you bill me at a separate hourly rate?
- Attending court: Who will speak for me before the judge? (In certain firms, more than one lawyer may be allocated to a case. You should inquire if another lawyer might assist on your case or manage court proceedings.)
- Obligations to the client: Why do you require me, exactly? (Most lawyers will want new clients to submit a thorough intake packet to collect data for filling out your court filings.)
It’s extremely likely that you won’t need a lawyer if you’re able to sit down with the other parent of your child and work out the specifics of legal and physical custody, visitation, and child support. But, If not, you may require the services of a mediator, an attorney, or maybe both.