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How to Select a Child Custody Lawyer



Divorce can be a difficult life event. If you also have children, the custody issues can make an already emotional situation even more traumatic. Child custody lawyers and child support attorneys can advise and guide you through the process, while protecting the interests of you and your children.

Not every divorce attorney handles child custody and support issues. If you expect to have problems reaching a child custody agreement with your soon-to-be-ex, you may want to hire one attorney to handle your divorce and another to handle your custody issues. Or you may want to hire a custody attorney if you're already divorced and have a new dispute about your children with your former spouse.

If you don't already have the names of potential lawyers, Attorneys.com can be a great place to start. Our service will help connect you with child custody lawyers or child support lawyers in your area.

To start the process, call us at 1-877-913-7222 or complete the form on our site. We'll ask you a few simple questions, then we'll provide you with the name and contact information of a family law attorney in your area. The lawyer will contact you within two business days, or feel free to contact the lawyer at your convenience.

At the Initial Consultation

Once you've connected with a lawyer, you can make an appointment for an initial consultation. This is your opportunity to meet and get to know the attorney. You'll be able to provide an overview of your case, and learn more about the attorney and his or her experience handling disputes similar to yours.

During the initial meeting, you should ask the attorney more about his or her background, how he or she would handle your case and how much it will cost. Among the questions to consider asking:

  • How much experience do you have handling custody and support disputes?
  • How would you evaluate my case?
  • Do you have the time to handle my case?
  • How much do you charge?
  • Can you give me an approximate estimate of the total cost to resolve my dispute, including fees, expenses and other costs?
  • What is your overall philosophy or style when handling cases similar to mine?

How Much Does a Child Custody Lawyer Charge?

Most lawyers charge their clients an hourly fee for their work. A lawyer's rate can vary depending on his or her experience, the type of legal work being performed and the region of the country in which you live. In some parts of the country, rates may be as low as $100/hour, but more typically lawyers charge several hundred dollars an hour. If your legal matter is simple and clearly defined, the attorney may be willing to charge you a flat fee for his or her work.

During your initial consultation, ask for an estimated cost to resolve your dispute. You should also find out how frequently you'll be billed and when payment will be due. Some lawyers may charge you a retainer, which is a deposit that is applied to future legal bills.

Making the Decision

Ultimately you need to feel comfortable with the attorney you hire. After your initial meeting, ask yourself whether your questions were answered openly and honestly. Did you agree with the attorney's recommend course of action? Did you feel as if you could trust the lawyer's legal advice? You need to use your best judgment to know whether you've found the right attorney to handle your case.