Often you won’t know how qualified your custody lawyer is until you’ve already passed a tipping point in the case.
Certain firms in this industry offer a spouse an obligation-free consultation, allowing for the individual to outline what their situation is and what legal procedures and avenues can be taken.
Even during this important discussion, it can be a difficult task for you to gauge how qualified they are to manage your case and how they will proceed once an agreement has been formed.
In this setting, it is worthwhile taking note of what positives should be identified to ensure that you have discovered a litigator who will work for your best interests.
Offers Honest Appraisal of Client Circumstances
The outside perception of a custody lawyer is that they are likely to push and persuade their client into a position that might not be best for them. As far as you are concerned, you don’t want to have a representative that pulls their punches. They should be able to illustrate what weaknesses are evident in your case as much as the strengths, pointing to employment records, cases of default, criminal history, credit history and overall fitness as a parent. If they can poke holes in your position, then you can be sure that the opposition counsel will do likewise.
Advocate Strongly For Client Position
Any custody lawyer who wants to do right by their client needs to work as a strong advocate for their position, even in the aftermath of an honest appraisal that might not support that line of argument. There are two main paths that can be decided upon in this instance – one is for a more conciliatory approach where joint custody can be reached, allowing for both parties to share parental duties moving forward. The second stance is to argue for sole custody, removing the potential for the other spouse to even see the child or only under strict provisions where legal supervision is necessary. That more abrasive and combative approach is not always healthy or advised, unless there is grounds where the other spouse does not pass basic requirements as a fit and proper parent.
They Ask The Right Questions
There are some core questions that a certified and experienced custody lawyer should ask you as their client. This dialogue will offer a good indication as to whether or not you have sourced a quality practitioner. It will include:
- What occurred in the lead up to divorce?
- What is your relationship with your children like?
- Has there been a history of abuse or neglect?
- What is your working situation?
- How much time can you dedicate to your children through sole or joint custody?
Clarity With Billing
Being mindful of the client budget is a domain that a trustworthy custody lawyer has been sourced. This is an extension of the honest appraisal talking point where the solicitor understands where you stand financially and what you are willing to pay for their services. It will speak to the timeframe of the case where a negotiation can be limited, whilst a confrontation and tough legal battle is likely to be drawn out. If they can outline ahead of time what will be billed and where some concessions can be made on their behalf, that is a healthy sign.
They Come Highly Recommended
Should your custody lawyer come highly recommended from peers, family members, colleagues, local constituents and online clients who have left 5-star reviews and feedback, then that is an indication that the professional has the track record to support their image. Reputation is everything in this business and those professionals who lose cases regularly and others who operate dubiously do not last long.