But before you hire a child custody attorney, you need to ask some questions to make sure you’re working with the best lawyer for your children’s needs. These three questions to ask divorce attorneys about child custody will get you started.
3 Questions to Ask Your Divorce Attorney About Child Custody
While every case is different, and you’ll want to ask your lawyer case-specific questions, these three general questions will tell you a lot about the attorney you’re talking to.
#1: Do we have to go to court over custody?
Your attorney will need to know more about your situation – including whether you and your spouse are likely to be able to reach agreements together about your kids – before he or she can answer this question. The short answer is that you may not have to ask the judge to decide what happens with your children, provided that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can work out a fair agreement that’s in the kids’ best interest on your own.
#2: How hard is it to change a court order?
Ideally, you’ll be able to reach an agreement on child custody with your spouse before the judge in your case issues an order – because they’re not always easy to change. Changing a court order will require you to go to court, and you’ll have to show that there’s been a significant change in circumstances that make the old order unreasonable now.
#3: What if my spouse and I can’t reach an agreement?
A good attorney can help you reach an agreement with your spouse when it comes to child custody. If you two can’t agree, your lawyer might suggest divorce mediation – and if that doesn’t work, or if it’s not an option, your lawyer must be willing to fight hard for what’s best for you and your kids, even if it means going to court and hashing things out in front of the judge.
How Child Custody Works in California
There are two types of custody in California: legal and physical. Legal custody is the right of parents to make decisions about their kids’ health, education and welfare. Physical custody is what determines where the children will reside.
For most families, the best possible option is for the parents to work out an agreement that benefits the whole family. Parents know their children best – and they know what will keep their children healthiest and happiest. It can be incredibly hard to negotiate a child custody agreement when each parent is trying to “win,” but often, it becomes easier when both parents are focusing on what’s best for the children.
Do You Need Help With Child Custody?
If you need help with child custody, our firm is here for you.