Often parents do not agree on a custody/visitation arrangement when they separate and no longer live together. This can happen in a Divorce or when parents are not married and may be filing a Paternity Action. Complex custody litigation can be pricey as it can involve expert witnesses and evaluations.
However, there is a way to avoid the high cost of complex litigation, and still have the courts make a decision when Child Custody is contested. This would involve enlisting the help of a Flat Fee Family Law Lawyer who can prepare paperwork as needed and also make court appearances for flat fees. Contested custody matters typically involve a hearing(s), mediation and court-ordered evaluations.
First and foremost, the courts want to find a solution that is in the best interest of the child. To this end, the Lawyer will need facts about both the child and the parents. A consultation with an experienced Family Law Lawyer is the way to start. The Lawyer will want to make an analysis of the child in the current custody arrangement. Is the child happy and thriving? Does the child see the other parent? If in school, how is the child progressing? The Lawyer may wish to see medical records, school reports as well as psychological evaluations if there are any.
If the child is over 14 years of age, his/her wishes may be taken into account. The court has wide discretion with regard to making a custody or visitation decision based on the wishes of a minor, so it is best not to assume that the minor’s testimony will determine the custody decision. Remember, the courts look at the whole picture in order to determine what’s best for the child.
The Lawyer will also want to consider:
- stability of both parents
- background of both parents with regard to drug & alcohol abuse, violent crimes, abuse etc.
- if siblings are involved–whether they could or should be separated
There may be other factors that the Lawyer needs to review. After a consultation, the parent should have a good idea as to the strength of his/her case as well as the legal options. Remember if parents do not agree on a parenting schedule and do not have, or wish to spend, a great deal of money, a Flat Fee Family Lawyer can be a great choice.
If you have questions about Child Custody and wish to discuss your case with an experienced Child Custody Lawyer, call Legal Action Workshop @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit our website @ www.LegalActionWorkshopLAW.com. Our LOW FLAT FEES will save you money while giving you the advice and oversight of an experienced Attorney.