What do you know about hiring a child custody lawyer? You can read about the common signs you might need an attorney to protect your children.
If you’re going through a custody battle, you know how stressful it can be. Divorcing and figuring out the timeshare of your children is never easy. While some parents try to navigate the legal system themselves, it makes the situation even more challenging.
Retaining a child custody lawyer is a great way to protect yourself and your rights. Representing yourself in a custody case can save you money, but it is full of risks. A child custody attorney is versed in the laws surrounding your case, ensuring you receive the best results possible for your unique situation.
We’re going to talk about the top five signs you need to seek the counsel of a family law attorney in your child custody case. Trust in the legal ability and guidance of a trained professional as you go through this complex time.
1. The Other Party Has an Attorney
The other parent is one step ahead of you if they’ve already retained a child custody lawyer. Family law attorneys are experienced, educated, and skilled with these types of cases. You don’t want to end up with less custody than the other parent because you chose not to hire a lawyer.
Child custody attorneys have tried similar cases in the past. No amount of research and preparation can aid you when facing a trained professional in court.
You want to be at the same level when you go into the courtroom with your former partner. Hiring a child custody lawyer will help you achieve that. The benefits of hiring an attorney include:
- Fill out and submit the correct documentation
- Gathering evidence
- Obtaining statements from character witnesses when necessary
- Professionally arguing your case
An experienced child custody lawyer will favorably present your case.
2. You’re Worried About Your Child’s Safety
You might be fleeing a relationship where you were living with a violent partner. You could be concerned that your ex will use your children, harming them as a way to get back at you. The other parent might be neglecting your children.
Common signs of child abuse and neglect can include:
- Regressive behaviors
- Social withdrawal
- Signs of PTSD
- Poor hygiene
- Defensive injuries to their arms
Partnering with an attorney is essential if you think your children are in danger. Don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement if you think they’re in immediate danger. A child custody lawyer can assist you with proving that your ex can’t provide your children with a safe living environment.
Keep in mind that some people make false allegations against the other parent to get more or all custody of the children involved. Be honest with your lawyer and give them as much information as possible about your fears.
Some people might encounter litigation abuse if they try to represent themselves, especially if they’re leaving a harmful relationship. Litigation abuse is when another person uses the legal system as a way to take control or power over you. Your case may take months, or even years, to resolve if you don’t hire legal representation.
A child custody attorney can not only protect you but your children as well. They’ll involve relevant professionals to assist you with keeping your children out of harm’s way.
3. Your Ex Isn’t Honoring Your Visitation
Your former partner might be denying you the right to see your kids after a divorce or separation process. The laws in Minnesota can sometimes not be favorable to certain parents.
For example, if the father and mother aren’t married when their child is born, the mother automatically gets sole custody of the child. She retains sole custody until the courts issue a custody order. This fact remains true, even if the parents signed a Recognition of Parentage.
It’s important to create a visitation schedule that works for you and the other parent. There are a few things you can do if the other party is withholding visitation. Your child custody lawyer will help you decide which solution is the best course of action for your case.
Change of Custody
You can ask the courts to change your custody agreement. Your lawyer will need to prove that the other parent is interfering with or denying your visitation.
Most custody cases require parents to attend mediation sessions. This is designed to help you settle your disagreements outside of the courtroom. You can create a visitation schedule during mediation that both you and the other party agree with.
Parenting Time-Assisted Motion
Parenting Time-Assisted Motions can be used to ask the court to make various changes. These can include:
- Enforcing an existing parenting schedule
- Change your current schedule
- Ask the other party to pay court fees and other related costs
A judge can issue a “Contempt of Court” against the other party if they’ve disobeyed a current court order without good reason. The goal of this is to get the person to follow the court order.
4. You Have to Take Classes
The court might order you to take part in treatment or take classes. These can include:
- Anger management courses
- Parenting classes
- Alcohol or drug treatment
Working with a child custody lawyer is a great choice if you’ve been ordered to take classes or seek treatment by the courts. They might not be able to get you out of it. However, they can advocate on your behalf, showing your willingness to improve and comply with the judge.
5. Your Case Crosses State Lines
Child custody cases are complex on their own. They become even more so when you add in laws from other states or countries. It’s best practice to hire a child custody lawyer if you’re dealing with an inter-jurisdictional case.
Hire an Experienced Child Custody Attorney in Blaine, MN
Child custody and divorce cases can be filled with high emotions. A child custody lawyer will gather evidence on your behalf, formulating a strategy that ensures a favorable outcome. Ensure that your relationship with your children stays intact as you traverse this unpleasant circumstance.
The child custody attorneys at Johnson/Turner Legal are here to guide you through your case. Our flat-fee pricing model enables our clients to navigate complex child custody cases with ease. Get in touch with our law office in Blaine to schedule a consultation.