A divorce can be an incredibly traumatic experience for a child. They are losing the stability of a family unit and may need to change schools (or even move states) because of child custody decisions. This isn’t always fair to the child and likely isn’t fair to one of their parents either.
If you feel like you didn’t get a fair child custody agreement, you might want to seek out further legal advice on the matter. Here are a few ways to find a family law attorney who you can trust to fight for your best interests.
Find Someone Who is Local
While you may recognize some top personal injury lawyers from their television ads, these experts likely aren’t local to your area and wouldn’t be the main attorney taking your case. It’s more likely that one of their assistants would help with your child support battle. Instead of opting for a national name, find a child custody lawyer who is local to you. For example, if you live in New Orleans, you can find a local law firm that specializes in a personalized attorney-client relationship. You can find a child custody attorney in New Orleans that has high reviews without the high prices, by following the local listings.
Identify Your Key Goals
When you meet with a family law attorney, identify the key goals you hope to get out of the agreement. Do you want to change how much child support you pay, or fight your alimony agreement altogether? Do you want to alter your joint custody agreement and renegotiate your visitation rights.
Your lawyer will likely review all of your options and try to focus on your highest priorities. They want to help you get everything you want, but that isn’t always realistic. Your legal counsel is here to help you negotiate with your spouse so everyone is happy with the outcome, and that it is the best for all parties.
Discuss everything you want in the initial consultation but know that you may need to prioritize your goals and prove that they are in the best interest of the child.
Clean Up Your Social Media
As you look for a child support attorney, try to find someone who knows how social media can impact court cases. It is becoming more common for attorneys and judges to use social media to see if there are any reasons to keep a teen away from a parent. For example, if you bad-mouth your spouse online, then it may look like you are trying to push your child against their other parent.
Clean up your social profiles from any negative mention of your spouse and ask a lawyer to review your pages to see if there is anything incriminating, and then remove it.
Always Act in Your Child’s Best Interest
It’s understandable that you want to increase your visitation and ensure that you get to spend as much time with your child as your former spouse does, but your adolescent child also has their own needs. As your child starts to get older, they can make their own decisions and might have strong opinions about the visitation schedule. It’s not a good idea to force your teen to spend time with you, as they could end up pushing away and building resentment.
Consider happiness and your teen when you work with a visitation lawyer. Does spending more time with them mean pulling them out of high school? Will your teen lose their friends? It might be better in the short run to take a less competitive agreement in order to make them happy.
Family law is an incredibly personal type of practice. Your legal counsel can help you navigate this divorce while ensuring you spend time with your adolescent child based on their own decisions. Find someone who prioritizes the attorney-client relationship and knows how to navigate the legal process.