As public speakers, we may be called to talk about a number of difficult topics. One topic that seems to come up over and over again has to do with divorce and which parent gets to keep custody of the children. This can be a difficult topic for anyone to talk about and it gets even tougher when the issue of custody comes up. Every year, there are over 2.2 million marriages in the US. But, there are also over 780,000 divorces each year in the US.
If you’re one of these 780,000 million people going through a divorce, you probably already know all too well how tough of a process it can be.
Divorce does much more than just take an emotional toll on someone, it’s also timely, costly, and extremely stressful.
One of the most difficult parts of divorce is figuring out child custody. More often than not, child custody is one of the biggest pain points of divorce. Even if you and your ex-spouse both love your children dearly and want to keep their best interests at heart, a child custody battle can still turn out to be quite nasty.
But, do you need to go as far as to hire a child custody lawyer?
Check out this guide to learn the top reasons to hire a child custody lawyer.
1. Your Ex Already Hired One
If your ex has already hired a child custody lawyer, then it’s high time that you hire one as well.
The last thing you want is to be ill-prepared for a custody hearing, and that will likely be the case if your ex has a professional on their side and you don’t.
Also, if your ex has been negligent or abusive to your children in any way, don’t think that’s automatically going to grant you full custody. There is a huge burden of proof that comes with those types of accusations, and without a professional lawyer by your side, these claims will be difficult to prove. Also, your ex’s lawyer will have their own defense strategy ready for any accusations you make in regards to your ex being an unfit parent.
If money is an issue, there are always options out there for free legal aid, and some lawyers are willing to do work pro bono.
2. You Live Far Away from Your Ex
Fighting for the custody of your child is hard enough as it is. But, it becomes even harder when you live in a different area of the country than your ex.
Hiring a child custody lawyer will help because the lawyer will know the different international and interstate rules and regulations for child custody.
Trying to learn all of this information on your own can be incredibly difficult and time-consuming, so it’s best to hire a lawyer who’s already familiar with how these situations work.
3. You Believe Your Child Could Be in Danger
The cost of losing your child is simply too high when you believe their safety could be in danger.
Hiring a custody lawyer is the best way to ensure that your child stays with you and stays safe.
In addition to hiring a lawyer, it’s important to know that you should call 911 in the event that you believe your child is in immediate danger. Also, you may want to consider filing a restraining order against your ex for you and your child, which is another thing that a qualified lawyer can help you with.
4. Your Ex is Not Cooperating
Even if you know your child is not in any danger, an uncooperative ex can still be a huge issue.
If your ex is displaying any of the following uncooperative behavior, it’s a good sign that you need to hire a lawyer:
- Your ex is trying to limit the contact you have with your children
- Your ex is denying you visits or canceling on you at the last minute
- Your ex is not communicating to you about the child or about coordinating pick up and drop off times with the child
If you see any of this behavior occurring, it’s time for you to hire a lawyer who can help you ensure that you get the time you deserve with your children.
5. You’re Court Ordered to Take Classes
Has the court ordered you to take classes in anger management? Or have they ordered that you attend an addiction treatment program?
If the court has ordered that you take any sort of class, then you’re already at a disadvantage in their eyes, even if you are a great parent otherwise.
If this is the case, then it’s definitely a good idea to hire a child custody lawyer. Your lawyer can help arrange for character witnesses to testify on your behalf about your parenting skills.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that some states and countries require all parents to take part in anger management classes, regardless of the situation.
6. Your or Your Ex’s Circumstances Have Changed Significantly
Are you or your ex getting remarried? Or, is one of you moving to a different state?
If there’s a significant change in circumstances, then it’s a good idea to hire a child custody lawyer.
With these changes come different changes in the legal proceedings, and only a qualified lawyer will know how t proceed.
7. Things Get More Complicated
While there are many child custody cases that go rather smoothly, it definitely isn’t always the case.
Even if your ex is being cooperative in the beginning, they may have a change of heart. For example, they may decide to fight for full custody instead of just partial custody. Or, they may completely turn their back on you and try to convince the court that you’re unfit to be a parent. Or, they may argue that you won’t be able to pay for the child’s well being. (This useful tool can help you calculate child support costs.)
If this is the case, you’ll definitely want to hire a lawyer who can build up a defense for you to explain to the courts why you deserve custody over your ex.
Are You Ready to Hire a Child Custody Lawyer?
As you can see, there are many reasons as to why you might need to hire a child custody lawyer.
Remember, your ex can have a change of heart at any minute, so even if things are going smoothly in the beginning, circumstances can easily change that make the child custody battle more and more difficult.
That’s why it’s best to be prepared from the start by hiring the right lawyer.
If you have any questions about hiring the right lawyer, be sure to comment below. And be sure to check back in with our blog for more legal and parenting tips.