Juniper Times

Latest News Magazine

What to Look For in a Child Custody Lawyer

Even the most amicable divorce can turn ugly when the question of custody comes up. Because most parents want to be involved in their children’s lives, they will fight tooth and nail to defend their rights. Experienced attorneys are always needed to help both sides reach an acceptable agreement. For those who are in need of legal advice, here’s what to consider when shopping for a child custody lawyer.


Because the courts encourage parents to make their own arrangements, most child custody cases are decided without a judge’s ruling. A skillful lawyer will take this opportunity to negotiate a favorable agreement that gets his/her client exactly what they want. On the flip side, an inexperienced attorney may fall prey to a savvy negotiator, leaving his/her client with an arrangement that doesn’t sit well with them.

It is important to focus only on those who practice family law to find a seasoned litigator. Trust us, the last thing you want is someone who merely dabbles in this complex legal field. You need a professional who devotes all, or most, of his/her time to these cases. Search for firms that advertise themselves as family law firms.


Many accomplished, sought-after lawyers are nearly impossible to get on the phone. Because they are often busy with their top clients, they may be unable or unwilling to take on new ones. It is actually not at all uncommon for clients to hire one lawyer, only to have his associates and underlings handle most of the work on their case. This is seldom an auspicious arrangement when it comes to family law cases.

Because your children are probably the most precious thing in the world to you, you want a child custody lawyer you can reach. You also want one who can and will drop everything when you have an emergency situation. So, if you find it difficult scheduling an appointment with a prospective attorney, keep looking!

Local Office

Because custody cases are often hands-on affairs that require many meetings and visits with your attorney, you want one who’s located in your area. It is also often a good idea to find a litigator whose office is close to the court where your action will take place since he/she may know the judges and the local court procedures.

Reasonable Fees

In most cases, a child custody lawyer will charge you either a flat fee or an hourly one. If you select the former, odds are the final bill will cost a few thousand dollars. The hourly rate, on the other hand, is often reserved for more complex cases that involve court battles. While lower prices do not necessarily indicate inferior service, less experienced, less accomplished attorneys typically charge lower rates. For those who want quality service on a budget, finding a reputable litigator with reasonable rates may require an extensive search. Contact your state bar association, or visit their website to locate a lawyer in good standing in your area.