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Child Custody Lawyers

Negotiating child custody arrangements with an ex can be tricky, particularly if you have differences that make it difficult for the two of you to communicate. There are plenty of reasons why it is beneficial to have a child custody lawyer at your side. Let's look at them in some detail.

Benefit No. 1: Keeping the Emotions at Bay

In most civil lawsuits, the hoped-for end result is a financial award. But what you hope to win in a child custody dispute is time with your children and the ability to have a say in the important decisions of their lives. With so much at stake, the dispute can turn ugly, accusations can fly, and the ill will between you and the other parent can get back to your children.

A lawyer who regularly handles custody disputes can help you focus on the custody laws in your state and how they apply in your situation. A child custody lawyer will help you avoid tangents that only serve to inflame your ex and serve no real role in deciding custody. Communication handled through the custody lawyers can also keep tempers from flaring.

Benefit No. 2: Custody Arrangements are Detailed

While you probably never have written a custody arrangement or parenting plan, a lawyer who focuses his practice on custody matters may have written hundreds of these agreements.

Judges expect these child custody plans to be comprehensive. They should include:

  • The roles of each parent
  • How much time the child spends with each parent
  • How major decisions are made and what exactly a major decision is
  • A precise schedule of when the children will be with each parent, including weekends, holidays, vacations, birthdays and after school
  • How the parents communicate with each other and about each other to the children
  • How the parents will handle the hand-offs
  • How to make changes in the agreement in the future

Benefit No. 3: Building a Solid Case for Yourself

The judges in most states determine child custody issues by looking at what's in the best interests of the child. Having an attorney help you with your custody dispute will help you present a compelling case for why your children should be with you.

Rather than just making unsubstantiated claims about why you would be the better choice, a child custody lawyer will present evidence on your behalf. Such evidence may include:

  • The space your home has to accommodate your children
  • Your plans for day care while you're working
  • Establishing that you are familiar with your children's progress in school and their teachers
  • Your past participation in extra-curricular activities with your children
  • Acknowledgement that contact with the other parent is also important to your children's development

This is just some of the evidence a lawyer may want to present in a custody case.

Finally, child custody lawyers will be familiar with the judges who hear custody disputes in your area and will know how to frame your case in the best light according to the priorities of your judge. Instead of heading into a courtroom blindly, a child custody lawyer can be your guide and walk you through the process. While no one can guarantee that you will get everything you want, having a child custody attorney can be of great assistance. Make sure to read more about some child custody frequently asked questions.