How to Hire a Seattle Child Custody Attorney
If your thoughts of an amicable divorce are now dashed because your spouse is fighting you over custody of the children, it’s time to talk to a Seattle child custody attorney. If you don’t know how to find one, this article can help.
Under Washington State child custody laws, you must work out a parenting plan for the children with your child's other parent. The plan needs to detail who gets the children when, how you and your child's other parent will make parenting decisions and how to resolve future disputes. It’s very detailed and often very emotional to write. You need the help of a Seattle child custody attorney.
How to Find Seattle Child Custody Attorneys
You have several ways to find a child custody lawyer in Seattle. Consider your circle of friends, family members and work friends. Maybe someone you know has had to fight for custody. Ask them what they thought of their lawyers and whether they would recommend them to you. First-hand feedback can be helpful.
If you need another name to round out your list, or you’d rather not discuss the details of your child custody dispute with people you know, we can help. Attorneys.com offers a service that can connect you with a child custody attorney in your part of Seattle.
When you’re ready, give us a call at 1-877-913-7222 or fill out the short form at this website. We’ll have a few questions for you. Then, whether you are in the University District or Seward Park or any other part of the Seattle, we’ll pass along the name and contact information for at least one child custody lawyer.
You may contact the lawyer yourself, or the attorney will call you within two business days.
Preparing to Meet a Seattle Child Custody Lawyer
It’s a good idea to meet with an attorney before hiring one. Many child custody lawyers in Seattle are willing to chat with you briefly in a meeting called an initial consultation. These meetings can be very helpful. You can use these meetings to learn:
Some Seattle child custody attorneys offer their time at initial consultations for free; others charge. Ask about any fees when you call to set up the appointment.
To make the most of the time you’ll have with a Seattle child custody attorney, bring with you any documentation you or your ex may have already filed with the court. The lawyer will want to see what the two of you are asking for.
If you are alleging that your ex abused the children, also bring any documentation you may have about that, such as police or medical reports.
Finally, if you are going to be asking for financial assistance under Washington State child support laws, bring copies of all your financial records.
Think about all the questions you want to ask. Then write them down and pack them with you as well. You don’t want to forget anything. Bring along some extra paper and a pen, so you can record the answers, along with any impressions you have.
Meeting a Seattle Child Custody Attorney
Arrive for your initial consultations on time, even early if you can. Seattle child custody attorneys are busy and will appreciate your promptness and preparation. Show the documents you brought and answer any questions the lawyer has directly and honestly.
Even though you have yet to hire anyone, you still enjoy an attorney-client privilege with all the lawyers you meet for an initial consultation. This is because all child custody lawyers in Seattle are bound by strict confidentiality rules that prevent them from repeating anything they hear from clients or even potential clients. You can trust the lawyers.
Don’t forget to ask about billing. Child custody battles can become extremely expensive as emotions fly. You’ll want to be crystal clear on how your Seattle child custody attorney bills you, the rate, the additional expenses for which you are responsible and when payment is expected.
Finally, make sure you don’t leave without the names and contact information for a few former clients.
Selecting a Seattle Child Custody Lawyer
After you have met with one or more lawyers on your list, it is time to choose a Seattle child custody attorney. Review your notes and think back to your conversations. Ask yourself:
- Which attorney had the strongest background representing clients with similar circumstances to my own?
- Which attorney offered me advice I thought would be most likely to produce the results I want?
- Which attorney’s legal fees seemed most fair?
- Which attorney made me most comfortable and confident?
If you have several top contenders, call some former clients of theirs for references. This real-world feedback should help you narrow your list to the very best Seattle child custody attorney for you.
Once you have found your lawyer, you can face the custody battle ahead of you.