During a divorce, the bitterest part of the battle can often be the custody phase of the separation. It can still be tough, especially if your spouse is trying to secure sole custody. This is exactly why you need a child custody lawyer. Your legal counsel during this phase of the divorce proceedings will be able to not only use the law to fight your case, but he or she will also try to curry the favor of the judge. The goal is to get the judge to grant you the type of custody you want. Here are five factors to consider when searching for a child custody lawyer.
- Law specialty. Whether you are looking for a Dallas attorney or a Miami attorney, you want to make sure that he or she has a specialty in divorce and custody law. This will ensure that you get the best and most experienced counsel. If you meet with a lawyer and they haven’t worked on too many custody cases, you probably want to keep looking. You can usually ask a lawyer if he or she is experienced in this type of law – you can also find this information on the attorney’s website.
- Rates. Do you have a big budget? A small budget? Ideally, you want to go with a lawyer that you can afford. Of course, there are ways to break down the payments and cover them over time, but you definitely don’t want to be in over your head. Also, it is important to know that just because a lawyer is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the lawyer is good. What you really want to look for is the success rate of a particular attorney.
- Success rate. The success rate of an attorney includes a list of cases won and a list of cases lost. Most attorneys will lose a few cases, but the truly great custody lawyers will have lost very few. These are the lawyers you want to look for and seek out. The last thing you want is to go with lawyer that doesn’t quite know what or she is doing – this will definitely reflect in their success rate.
- Cordiality. Do you get along with the attorney? Is the attorney nice to the judge? Some attorneys can be cold and not very nice. In a custody battle, you want to find a lawyer that you can get along with. It will be a very trying time – and a very emotional time – so you want someone that will at least support you. You don’t need a therapist in a lawyer, but you do need someone that will give you the time of day.
- Reputation. This is another important factor to consider – perhaps the most important. A lawyer’s reputation can go one of two ways – he or she can either be feared in court or despised. The last thing you want is a lawyer that judges don’t like – this will not fare well when it comes your chances of gaining custody.