Here’s how to find good legal help for custody, child support, and other family law issues. Too often, friends and family will give you advice about your legal situation which is capable of hurting you in court. They aren’t meaning to sabotage your efforts. They just don’t know how judges and lawyers react when fathers take certain actions.
For instance, the “sage” advice to carpet-bomb every legal office in town so your former partner has a tough time finding representation? Lawyers know about this tactic, and most offices have safeguards in place to prevent themselves from being caught in that trap. That’s one of the reasons that law offices may charge for an initial consultation.
And while it won’t hurt your case if your ex finds local representation (especially if it’s a good, fair lawyer), it might hurt your chances at a fair custody agreement if you follow other bad advice. That’s true whether you’re following a friend’s angry rantings (they think they are supporting you by telling you to screw your ex) or the skewed opinions of an under- or unqualified legal representative.
Beware Legal Freelance Services
Cody Cotton of Eros, Louisiana, learned this lesson the hard way after hiring a woman over Facebook to help him prepare a custody agreement with his son’s mother. Arrested for practicing law without a license, Natalie Robinson’s assistance essentially wrote Cotton out of his son’s life.
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Robinson, from nearby Calhoun, Louisiana, faced up to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine, but the charges don’t undo the damages she’s caused to Cotton’s relationship with his son. In order to fix her mistakes, he’ll have to work through qualified legal representation.
Always make sure to check that the legal help you’re considering is qualified and credentialed.
How to Choose the Right Lawyer for a Pro-Dad Custody Battle and Other Family Law Issues
Experience and attitude count when it comes to building a pro-father custody agreement. Courts are biased. Many lawyers are too. Hire the wrong one, and they won’t feel motivated to do much for you. Avoid the temptation to reach out to the lawyers with the biggest or best ads, or who have degrees from the most prestigious schools, or who has the most important list of clients. Those things tell you nothing about how they’ll fight for you. At most, it clues you in on how much they’re likely to charge.
What should you do instead? Ask for referrals. Talk to your divorced friends or coworkers who have good agreements with their exes. Talk to lawyers you know who are practicing in other areas and ask them for referrals to good family law attorneys. If you search for a lawyer online, be sure to back it up with extra research. Do the lawyers in a firm seem knowledgeable and supportive of fathers’ rights? If not, keep looking until you find the right match. Hiring the best lawyer for your case can make all the difference.
And of course, read our article about how to find a good lawyer for fathers here.
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