8 Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer About Child Custody
When you’ve gone through a divorce, and it settles, the next thing that you’ve got to deal with is a child custody case. So when you’re beginning your case, you need to know what questions to ask a lawyer about child custody?
Knowing what questions to ask ahead of time will help you be better prepared and know what to expect before it happens. Continue reading for these need to know child custody questions.
1. Which Laws Pertain to My Case?
Each state has a different set of rules and guidelines that must be met by a child custody case that’s tried in the courtroom. Before heading to court, your lawyer should inform you of all of the current laws that have to do with your case.
They’ll also be responsible for telling you what each law means and how it can be used to your advantage in court.
2. What Will the Court Take Into Consideration?
It’s crucial to understand the things that a judge will consider when ruling in a child custody case. These factors are considered because the judge wants to decide in favor of what’s going to best for the children involved in the case.
Some of the factors that will be considered include:
- The relationships between the child and each of their parents
- The health of each parent that will be caring for the child
- The increasing developmental needs of the child
- The emotional needs of the child
- If each parent provides a stable environment for a child
- Whether there are signs of abuse
- The ability of each parent to care for the child
Once all of these things have been considered, the judge will then make their ruling. If you’ve found that your home doesn’t accommodate a child, then you may have to take steps to make it suitable before the case begins to increase the chances of the judge ruling in your favor.
Also, keep in mind what’s best for your child when approaching a child custody case.
3. Will Mothers Automatically Get Custody?
Some states do award the mother custody outright, and in those situations, the father still has rights that they can have enforced. In other states, if a father presents a strong case against the mother showing her incompetence at parenting, then the father can receive sole custody.
When heading to court, if you feel your ex-spouse doesn’t have the resources or capacity to care for your child, you’ll need to provide this information to your lawyer. Your lawyer will then build a case around these findings and present it in court.
4. How Will Visitation Work?
If you and your former spouse have a challenging time agreeing on anything, you’ll likely have to go to mediation to decide on a schedule that works best for both parents and children. If you can decide on a schedule, then you’ll do so between yourselves.
However, any schedule that is decided on must be approved by the courts before it can begin. If you want to make changes to your visitation agreement, you can, but again the court must be notified of the new changes.
5. How Does Child Support Work?
If you request your child’s financial support, it’s known that the money will cover food, shelter, and other necessary items about the child’s well-being. Child support will be awarded in monthly installment to the parent that has sole custody of the child.
The amount of financial aid support provided will depend on the parent’s current income that doesn’t have sole custody. There are times when parents can decide on a custody agreement on their own.
It’s recommended that the agreement you come to be enforced by the court to reduce the likelihood of running into issues in the future.
6. How to File for Custody?
When you’re filing for divorce written into the petition for divorce, you’ll need to rotate your wishes for custody of your child. Another way to file for custody is during a legal separation.
This is when you’re not married to the person you’re separating from, but there is a child that the two of you share. Once you file for separation, you’ll file another suit seeking custody of the child involved.
A paternity action suit is a step a father needs to establish that he is the child’s biological father. Once paternity has been proven, he can then move forward with filing a suit for custody rights.
7. Do I Need a Lawyer?
Yes, you need a lawyer because once a case begins, each party can experience an array of emotions that keep you from responding in the way you should. Also, a lawyer can better navigate the court system than you could.
And trust us navigating the court system will come in handy when you’re trying to remove a ruling in your favor. Your lawyer will help you make decisions with a clear mind free of emotions that you may be experiencing.
8. Do You Have to Pay Child Support?
If the child involved in the case is your child, then yes, you’ll have to provide support if you’re not the parent with sole custody. Why you may ask?
Because you’re responsible for helping care for the child and when you’re not the sole parent, you’ll need to provide some sort of help to care for the child.
Questions to Ask a Lawyer About Child Custody Answered
All of the questions to ask a lawyer about child custody are crucial to preparing for the custody proceedings. If you know what to expect, then you won’t be surprised, and you’ll be able to better understand the things that are going on in court.
If you’re in Texas and need a divorce lawyer contact us today. We’ve got the experience in Family Law that you need on your side of the courtroom, let us get to work and get the results that you’re looking for.