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How Do I Choose the Best Custody Lawyer?

Lawyers who have worked successfully with a judge before are more likely to achieve a good outcome in a custody case.
Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 26 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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When you choose a custody lawyer, you want one who understands the sensitivity of the matter. This means that you want to avoid hiring a legal representative who simply wants to win on his own terms. You also may best look for an individual who has a significant amount of positive, local experience. One of the most important aspects to consider when making your selection is the degree and the manner in which the individual will involve your child in the case.

It is important to consider the amount of experience that a custody attorney has. Doing this involves not only finding out how many years the individual has been practicing law, but also assessing his case history. You should assess whether or not complaints have been filed against a lawyer, and if so, for what reasons. Much of the information that you need may be available from your jurisdiction’s bar association.

It is often a good idea to choose a custody lawyer who has a significant amount of experience in the court system in which your case will be handled. In small jurisdictions, the outcome of cases can often be greatly affected by the lawyer a person chooses. One with substantial local experience is likely to have established relationships that can be useful.

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Your primary purpose for hiring a custody lawyer should be the protection of everyone’s legal interests. Realize that it is not up to the attorney to determine what type of custodial terms you want. To avoid having your lawyer hijack your case, outline your goals and schedule a consultation. If it appears that an attorney is willing to work toward getting what you want, he may make a good legal representative. If it appears that he has his own agenda, despite your wishes, you may want to steer clear of him.

Discuss and confirm that any custody lawyer with whom you work will deal with your child sensitively. You want to avoid lawyers who over-involve the child in the case by getting unnecessary statements from her, having her unnecessarily appear in court, or by subjecting her to lines of questioning or suggestions that reflect poorly upon the other parent.

Child custody is a very sensitive matter. The manner in which your case is handled could have long-term, if not life-long, effects. A custody lawyer who is committed to a high level of professionalism will understand this and will allow you the proper opportunity to make thoughtful decisions, including hiring him. Avoid lawyers who make you feel pressured into immediate decision making.

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