Are you in the middle of a divorce? Are you wondering if it’s time to hire a child custody lawyer?
Child custody laws are complicated. If you and your ex-spouse have decent communication, you may be able to agree to your custody arrangements. If, however, things are more contentious, you could need a professional on your side.
When Is It Time to Hire a Child Custody Lawyer?
Here’s what you need to know about when to look into hiring a child custody attorney.
What is a Child Custody Lawyer?
Child custody lawyers can provide legal counsel and advice in situations where parents cannot agree on who should have their child’s custody. They work closely with parents and help them prepare for taking their case to the courtroom. Sometimes, a child custody attorney is required to enforce an existing order.
Child custody lawyers investigate the specifics of custody arrangements, conduct negotiations, and gather the appropriate records. They may gather evidence, look for child support payments, or communicate a child’s preferences in court.
Child custody attorneys operate under family law. You can learn more here. While they are not always necessary, there are some cases in which they are strongly recommended.
Your Children Are in Danger
If you suspect your child may be in danger when they’re with your ex, it’s time to get a professional involved. You may also want to talk about the possibility of seeking a restraining order.
Signs your child might be suffering from harm include failing grades or a lack of attendance at school. You may also notice a volatile temper or intense mood swings. Your child may also be lying to avoid consequences for their behavior.
If you believe your child is in immediate danger, you’ll need to call 9-1-1. It may also help to consult a social worker or therapist. When it comes to getting your child out of a dangerous situation, your child custody lawyer can provide the help you need.
Your Ex Won’t Let You See the Kids
You may have child custody arrangements that you’re ex isn’t respecting. They may cancel on you at the last minute or try to limit contact with your children.
If your ex isn’t respecting your agreements, they could face criminal or civil repercussions. In many cases, alternative methods may be used to resolve the dispute first, such as mediation. However, if you can’t reach an agreement, the case could go to court for a final ruling.
The right child custody lawyer can help you advocate for the needs of your child. They know the law and can help you make your case in a logical, sound way.
You Are Moving
If you move to a new state or country, you’ll need a professional to represent you. If you have custody, you likely won’t be able to move without permission from the court that initially issued the custody order.
Courts may decide whether or not to allow the move based on several factors. For example, you may have a new job opportunity that results in increased income and a better lifestyle for your child. Or you may be moving closer to your extended family, who can help provide childcare and other resources that your child will benefit from.
The court will weigh the advantages of your move as they relate to any detriment that your child will suffer due to reduced contact with your former spouse.
If you’re a non-custodial parent, you can generally move states without needing approval from the court. However, it will need to be feasible to continue the current visitation arrangements after the move.
If, however, the non-custodial parent is making a significant move, you’ll need to arrange with the custodial parent to work out a new, beneficial custody agreement. If the custodial parent won’t agree, the non-custodial parent needs to file an order in court. The judge can then evaluate the case and provide a new custodial arrangement.
You Are Remarrying
When a custodial parent remarries, child support payments could get affected. If the new spouse can help contribute financially to raising the child, the arrangement could get revisited. If your child doesn’t get along well with their new step-parent, the arrangement could also call for alterations to the existing custody agreement.
A non-custodial parent remarrying could also call for changing the existing custody agreement. Sometimes, a court will view remarriage as creating a more stable environment.
Child custody agreements are arranged with a child’s best interests in mind. The right lawyer can explain how custody laws in your area will affect your family relationships and rights in a particular situation.
You Are Participating in Training or Treatment
The court may have required you to participate in classes as part of your custody agreement. These could include anger management classes or treatments for substance abuse.
If this is the case, you could be viewed as having a disadvantage. The right lawyer can present your side of the story in court in a professional, thoughtful manner.
Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer
If you’re moving, remarrying, or dealing with a difficult spouse, a child custody lawyer could provide the expertise and skill you need to make your case. The right attorney for you will be experienced in family law with an excellent record of success. With a little research, you could be on your way to an amicable arrangement in no time.
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