Many divorce cases, along with the resulting questions of child custody and visitation rights, can be settled amicably. In these circumstances, it is rare for you to need an attorney to represent you in court. But where there is disagreement and a child custody battle ensues, then hiring an attorney becomes a crucial step.
But at what point should you seek the services of an attorney? What are the seven signs that make you realize it is a good idea to hire a child custody attorney to represent you?
Take Your Time Before Making a Decision
One thing to be sure of is to never make a hasty decision. Many people panic when they realize they may need a child custody lawyer but you should take your time and investigate potential lawyers’ experience and background.
Make a list of firms who appear to fit the bill, read their website to see if they specialize in family law and how much experience they have. At Michigan Premier Law we offer a free initial consultation, soyou can use that time to ask questions.
1. Significant Changes
Have there been recent significant changes in your, or your former partner’s, circumstances? These changes may cover a very wide range of factors. It could be that one of you is remarrying or relocating so the parents will live in different states.
But it could also include other factors such as criminal convictions or one partner relapsing to a former substance addiction. If you feel that any change has an impact on your child custody case, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
This may also include times when any court orders have been violated. As the final outcome of a custody case may not be known for many months, a court will often impose temporary arrangements for the intervening period.
These temporary orders may include factors such as child support or even a restraining order where there have been threats of violence The court takes violations of such orders very seriously and a competent lawyer can deal with the matter on your behalf,
2. Court-Mandated Courses
If the court has mandated you to attend any courses that are not a normal part of your state’s family law process, then you may want to talk to a family law attorney. These courses may include anger management classes and treatment for substance issues.
3. Access Problems
If your former partner is causing any sort of issues as far as access is concerned, then you will need a lawyer to represent you. If they limit your contact or cancel pre-planned visits, then a lawyer can present these facts in court.
4. Sudden Notice of Hearing
If you received a sudden or unexpected notice that a custody hearing is due to take place, then you should consider hiring a lawyer immediately. Some people may say it is not a necessity in the early stages, but having someone who has knowledge and experience of child custody laws by your side is always a good idea.
5. Different Jurisdictions
If you and your former partner live in different states, you have to be aware that any differences in laws may have some effect on the overall case. Most states have now adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) which means that any custody claim has to be filed in the child’s home state (as in the state where the child has resided for the six months prior to filing).
Having a Michigan Premier Law Firm attorney on your side means you have an expert on whether this applies as well as any other legal aspects.
6. Your Ex Has a Lawyer
If your former partner has already engaged the services of a child custody attorney, then it makes a lot of sense for you to hire one too. When claims and counterclaims are flying about a courtroom, it is far easier to convince the court of your side of the case when it comes from an experienced lawyer who knows the intricacies of family law.
7. Strong Presentation
Having good legal representation when it comes to court means your overall case is presented in a stronger way. A lawyer who specializes in such cases not only knows the relevant state laws but also knows of any legal precedents that may help your case.
In an ideal world, amicable solutions could be found to every situation and both parties could agree on child support and custody. But life is not so simple and many factors can affect the levels of disagreement and confrontation in any divorce case involving children. In cases where no amicable solution can be reached, having a good family law attorney fighting in your corner can reduce your stress and also help make a positive outcome more likely.
Here at Michigan Premier Law, we have been specializing in family law for many years now and are experts in the field of child custody. We offer you attorneys with vast experience in all aspects of family law so that you can move forward with confidence. To allow us to evaluate your case – and for you to ask any questions you want – we offer a free consultation and case evaluation. You can contact our law firm at (248) 688-0045.