Updated: Jun 8, 2020
1. An Uninvolved Party
With many of our clients, we inherit a case where the client filed for custody without a lawyer. The immediate issue is that the client filed the complaint for custody while they were mad, hurt, or just working off of emotion in general. When we get the case, the client has already made many angry written statements that have little to do with what the law takes into consideration when deciding custody. The benefit of having an attorney, is that you have a person who understands what a judge looks for in determining which parent is more fit to have custody of your child. An experienced attorney won’t be side tracked by the negative feelings you or the other parent may have for each other - due to a failed relationship or the many other factors that may come into play. An experienced attorney is able to focus on what makes sense in terms of the best interests of the child; which is what the Judge will base their decision on. 2. Knowledge of the Laws that Govern a Custody Case While the average person may understand what they think makes them the better parent, this alone may not be enough to get custody of your child. Your attorney understands several things that only come from practice or experience. There are many procedural requirements that must be met before your custody case ever makes it to court. For example, perhaps the other parent filed documents with the court that you never got notice of. Or maybe you filed for custody and the other parent never responded to what you filed. The issue could even be that the other parent made an allegation that you asked them to prove and they couldn’t. Any of these situations could drastically change your custody case, even to the point where a judge may decide that you should or shouldn't be awarded custody. Without an attorney, you may spend needless time, money, and court appearances solely because you don’t know the law. 3. We're Able to Negotiate in Your Favor Your attorney will be able to negotiate terms in a child custody order that you would possibly overlook. For example, there are many things such as holidays, birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, spring breaks, or summer breaks that you may want to spend with your child. There may also be more complicated issues such as a safe meeting place for exchanges, arranging supervised visitation for an estranged parent, decisions regarding education, or even limiting what each parent can talk to the child about. An experienced attorney will bring these issues to your attention and work to get a custody arrangement that fits your needs, whether you’ve considered them or not.
Whether you've already filed or you are considering filing for custody, if you have not retained an attorney, contact Amissah and Marsh for a consultation today!