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What Does a Child Custody Lawyer Do?

A custody issues lawyer will advocate for you in mediation and disputes involving your children, including:
  • Becoming the primary caregiver of your child after a separation or divorce
  • Guide you through paperwork
  • Represent you in court if it reaches that stage
  • Negotiate child support rates

How Do I Know If I Need a Child Custody Lawyer?

If you've recently gone through a divorce or separation, a lawyer who specializes in child custody may be necessary because not all divorce or family lawyers have experience handling the placement of your children. If there's any doubt about who your children will live with and who will support them, it may be especially helpful to have a specialist on your side.

How Much Does a Child Custody Lawyer Cost?

Lawyers take different approaches to how they bill and how much they charge. For simple, uncontested cases, custody issues attorneys may charge a flat rate for all of the services. However, if you're having trouble negotiating or are considering going to court, an hourly rate is standard. Rates will vary depending on where you live, so be sure to ask up front how much your lawyer will charge.

What Should I Expect When Working with a Child Custody Lawyer?

If you and the other parent can come to an agreement out of court, the process will be shorter and less expensive. If you do end up in court, the judge will have to determine which parent is more willing and able to care for your child and that person will be given primary custody. It's also possible to share custody if you're both deemed equally able. A good lawyer will try hard to make sure that the proceedings don't get out of hand and the outcome is fair.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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