4 Tips to Find the Best Lawyer for a Child Custody Case
There are many reasons a marriage may not work out, and your best option may be to part ways with your partner. Divorces can be emotionally distressing, but sometimes they are necessary for your mental and emotional well-being. However, if you have a child in the equation, you have to take extra steps to ensure that your little one is safe and sound by your side. Therefore, fighting a custody battle is no easy feat, and you may not win your case without excelling in legal representation.
According to the Family Law Act of 1975 in Australia, a court will always prioritize the child’s best interests in case of a divorce. Whether your marriage ended on a good or bad note, the court will only grant custody to a parent who can provide the child with stability and peace. This is why legal representation matters. To show your custody hearing goes flawlessly and has no bias, here’s how you find the best lawyer to make yourself heard:
An Overview of A Custody Case
The trajectory of your custody case depends on where you reside in Australia. State laws and regulations control the outcome of your case. Therefore, in a city like Ipswich, which is roughly 25 miles away from the hustling central business district of Brisbane, you can easily find professionals who are waiting to help you with your case. So don’t hesitate to reach out and receive consultation from the best ipswich family lawyers to get adequate representation and ensure your child ends up with you.
According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), approximately 80% of cases in Australia grant mothers 50% of care for their children. In comparison, in less than 7% of cases, fathers provide more than 50% of care to their children.
When applying for custody, you need to show the court that you’re financially in a good position to provide for your child. This can influence the court in passing a decision in your favor while also considering other factors, including who gets to make long-term decisions like the child’s education. If you cannot come up with an agreement, the court will pass an order for you that decides the framework of your child’s custody. If you breach the legal contract, it can cost you more than $6,000.
So for the sake of your child, don’t try to work the logistics by yourself and let a lawyer present your assets, commitment to being a parent, and dedication to your child adequately.
How to Find The Right Lawyer?
The purpose of a legal expert is to guide you about your case and ensure your troubles get sorted in a short amount of time. Not every child custody case is clean. You may be dealing with an abusive partner, not having enough resources to support your child, or lacking sufficient evidence to show the court you are the best option for your child’s well-being. You need an excellent attorney to step in for you and sort out your situation in all these circumstances.
1. Ask Around
Always ask the people around you if they know of an experienced and professional lawyer. This can give you a starting point to begin your search for the most suitable lawyer to represent you. First-hand accounts and experiences provide valuable details like how knowledgeable the attorney is and if they’re flexible to keep up with your schedule and have a high success rate. You also need a lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours, so they can expertly navigate the court system.
2. Ensure The Lawyer Knows the Legal Framework Well
In Australia, both parents have an equal responsibility toward their children, especially if they are under eighteen. This ensures that you and your partner co-parent peacefully. The family law act is about protecting the child’s interest. If you cannot agree with your ex, the law will place your child under the care of the most suitable parent fit for the job. Therefore, having a lawyer in your corner can inform you of what the court expects from you.
You may also need help drafting a parenting plan, a voluntary agreement between you and your partner that specifies how you will care for your child. This includes basic instructions like who the child will live with and how communication between the parents will get facilitated. Sometimes, you may need to develop an agreement using a consent order.
This needs to be approved by the court and will include details like the amount of child support the other party has to provide. So unless your attorney knows how to draft a relevant plan, elaborate on the necessary details and ensure that you have an excellent custody arrangement, the court may dismiss your concerns.
3. Attend A Consultation Session
When picking out the best lawyer to work with, it is best to attend a consultation session with as many attorneys as possible. These appointment-based meetings allow you to present your case and interview the lawyer to confirm you picked the right expert. The questions you ask should include how strong your case is, their opinions on your situation, and what you should expect in court.
A lawyer can also speculate on the possible outcome of your custody case, preparing you for what has yet to come. Make sure you also figure out logistics that include their response time, the approximate timeline of the trial, and how flexible the lawyer is working outside the office.
4. Inquire About The Payment Plan
The average cost of a custody lawyer depends on the complexity of your case. If you harbor immense hatred towards your partner, reaching an agreement is impossible without multiple solicitations. As much as you want to win, you need to mind your pocket; draining your savings before settling will not reflect well on you. This is why it is smart to have a payment plan. A custody lawyer can charge you as low as $150 to $650 for hourly meet-ups. You will also need to pay for work that paralegals will do for your case, including drafting letters, which can cost you around $1000.
A court session can cost you at least $20,000. The court will appoint a family report writer who can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000, but this cost will get divided between you and your partner. So prepare yourself for a hefty payment plan.
A custody case can be a messy affair. Like any parent, you would want your child to have a safe and stable environment to grow up in, so your best asset is utilizing the law. Make sure you hire a lawyer who can represent you well in court and guide you along the way. It is never a good idea to jump into legal situations without an experienced lawyer by your side, particularly in matters as crucial as child custody.