Divorce, as unpleasant and often painful as it is, is a fact of life in some cases. It's an unfortunate event in any person's life. And when children are involved, it's even more layered and challenging. If you have children and you're getting divorced, they are your highest priority. You want the best for them, and in some cases, that means you want to fight for full or partial custody. Ensuring your children are safe and healthy is of utmost importance.
When searching for the right family and divorce attorney, you want to look for specific qualities in your legal professional. It is recommended that single parents interview a potential child custody attorney before hiring them so that you can adequately express your needs and concerns, and ultimately find the right fit. Some elements to focus on are
- Style and personality: Choose an attorney who is comfortable asking for what they want. You need someone who isn't timid and who isn't afraid to speak up and truly be your advocate. Your children are everything to you, so you need a representative who can successfully convey your message.
- Experience: The last thing you want is to hire an attorney who has no past experience in custody cases. Ask your potential lawyer how many cases they have taken on versus how many they have won. Don't be shy about this. You have a right to know, and it's the smart thing to do so you don't get stuck with an incompetent attorney.
- Fee structure: Inquire about whether the attorney charges by the hour or works on a contingent basis. Be sure also to discuss a possible retainer. Some retainer fees are very expensive, whereas others are more manageable. If you're having a hard time coming up with the retainer, sometimes attorneys will work with you.
- Pro bono option: Often in divorce situations, money is incredibly tight. There are child custody lawyers in the profession who are willing to take on cases free of charge. In these cases, often the courts will appoint a lawyer to a party that cannot pay.
- Termination: Do not be afraid to fire your attorney if they are not advocating for you in the way you would like. They work for you; not the other way around. If you don't feel you are getting results and not being represented appropriately and fairly, it's completely fine to terminate your counsel and look for someone like Andrew H P Norton who better suits your needs.