How do I Choose the Best Guardianship Attorney?

Erin J. Hill

It is possible to find the best guardianship attorney by calling various offices found in your telephone directory, speaking with friends or neighbors who have used a lawyer for this reason previously, or speaking with a case worker at a local public services organization to get a recommendation. If you are short on money, there are some law firms or non-profit organizations which offer pro bono services for lower income families. Additionally, if you and other family members have a mutual agreement of how you would like custody arrangements to be carried out, you may be able to come to a legal agreement without hiring a guardianship attorney.

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Businessman giving a thumbs-up

If you know of anyone else who has used a guardianship attorney, speaking with them should be your first step in finding the right person. Find out how professional the attorney was during the custody battle, how the case ended, and a general idea of fees. If this person had a bad experience, you will at least know of one lawyer in your area not to contact for a consultation.

You can also find a guardianship attorney by doing things the old fashioned way and going down a list of names in your local phone directory, calling various attorneys. Speak with several of them individually and discuss your situation. Find out what the fees would be, whether the person who would be handling your case has experience in custody or power of attorney cases, and how successful he or she has been. Be sure to offer any evidence, if applicable, up front so the lawyer can give you a more accurate idea of how successful your case may be.

If you discover that attorneys in your area are more than you can afford, you may be able to find an organization or law firm that helps lower income individuals or families in cases like yours. You will likely be asked to fill out an application and include income information so they can properly assess your financial need. In this situation, you may not get to choose which attorney will review your case, and not everyone is accepted into these programs.

Sometimes, you may be able to come to an agreement without the use of a guardianship attorney. For instance, if you are arranging custody for children due to a divorce, you may able to decide on a custody agreement and include that in the divorce settlement or agreement. This may not be true in all areas, so be sure to find out if you will be able to do this where you live. You could also represent yourself in a custody hearing, although this is not recommended if it is a complicated case or if the opposing side is accusing you of behavior which may hurt your chances of obtaining custody.

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