Your Legal Rights at Work

Four Signs You Need to Hire a Child Custody Lawyer

by Lewis Hamilton

Child custody is one of the main issues that ensues after a couple separates or undergoes a divorce. In most cases, parents separate amicably and thus, there is no custody battle over the children because both parents are capable of sharing custody or parental responsibilities. Thus, there is no need for child custody lawyers to get involved in the above scenario.

However, when a couple separates through a messy divorce, chances are there will be a custody battle over the children. In such a case, the need to hire child custody lawyers becomes paramount. Therefore it is essential to know when you need to hire a child custody lawyer. Here are four signs and situations to look for.

You and Your Ex-Spouse Live in Different States

Different states have different laws that govern child custody cases. Thus, if you are in a custody battle with your ex-spouse but live in different states, you need a child custody lawyer. 

Typically, a parent can represent themselves in a child custody case. However, it can be challenging in the above situation because you are dealing with two sets of child custody laws across different states.

Thus, you need to hire a child custody lawyer to help you navigate the child custody laws of both states. Additionally, a child custody lawyer is well versed in child custody laws, and thus they are in an ideal position to represent your interest in a custody case.

Your Ex-Spouse Won't Let You See Your Children

After a divorce, an ex-spouse may take it upon themselves to prevent you from visiting or contacting your children. If your ex-partner doesn't have a restraining order against you, then you have a right to communicate and visit your children.

Thus, when your ex-spouse prevents you from getting in touch or seeing your children, it is high time to hire a child custody lawyer. A child custody lawyer can file a motion in court to establish clear shared parental responsibilities or shared custody. This way, your ex-spouse will be bound by the law to allow you to see or communicate with your children as per the shared custody arrangement.

Your Ex-Spouse Has Already Hired a Lawyer

If your ex-spouse already has a child custody lawyer, then it is high time you also get one for yourself. Chances are your ex-partner has already set their eyes on getting full custody of the children. Hence, your ex-partner has already begun building a case that supports her bid for full custody.

In such a situation, the more you delay hiring a child custody lawyer, the more of a head start your ex-partner gets over you. Thus, you need to immediately hire a child custody lawyer of your own also to start preparing for a custody battle. 

You Have Safety Concerns for Your Children

Sometimes, after parents separate, the parent who gets custody of the children is abusive to them, or their new partner is abusive towards the children. Alternatively, your children and your ex-spouse may be living in an area where their lives may be in danger, e.g. as a result of gang violence in the area.

In such a situation hiring a child custody lawyer can help you build a case for getting physical custody of the children. From the court's perspective, physical custody should go to the parent who is best suited to provide the best care for the children. Thus, your child custody lawyer can use factors such as child abuse and inherent danger to the children to sway the court to give you physical custody of the children.