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Consider Taking on Your Custody Battle without Hiring an Attorney
Advice Resources for Keeping your Child First in a Custody Battle
- Positive Parenting Through Divorce
- Helping Your Child Through a Divorce
By minimizing the stress a divorce creates, being patient as everyone adjusts to the new situation, and responding openly and honestly to your kids' concerns, you can help them through this difficult time.
- Martin Luther King: The doctor\'s script | ViewsHound
- Symptoms of Emotional Damage to Children of High-Conflict Divorce
Dollars and Sense: What are the actual costs of hiring an attorney to win your child custody case?
Attorneys’ fees and their incurred costs start at $2500 for simple proceedings. If a case develops complexities, these costs can jump to more than $40,000. Naturally, attorneys stand to benefit when your case becomes complicated. This could translate into complicated legal developments in your case which serve to keep your attorney set up with a nice, comfortable cash flow that streams in as long as your case is prolonged.
Cases involving attorneys are significantly more likely to incur costs from additional professional services. These include psychologists, evaluators, supervisors, and advocates to name a few. These costs can add up to several thousands of dollars on top of attorney's fees.
To the desperate parents who need a win in their case regardless the financial consequences: An attorney may cost your child in more ways than you can predict. You may be the best advocate for your child in and out of the courtroom. Consider the following effects upon children who endure a drawn out court battle for their custody arrangements:
Placing children in the center of a battle for their custody produces the following distinctive and detrimental effects:
1. Self Blame: The child will almost certainly blame himself. Children are masters at correlating negative events with personal shortcomings. By placing a child at the center of a divisive dispute between the two people he or she loves and depends upon the most, one is leading them to personalize their hurt feelings.
2. Loss of Trust: Children who forced into the core of a custody battle often express a level of anger at one or both parents. This anger is typically produced by parental aggression and can remain unresolved through years of painful processing. Parents who attack one another in front of the child, or worse use the child as a medium to deliver attacks, wound the child with the power of the assault they intended for the other parent.
3. Development of Negative Relationship Skills: These are the “sleeper” effects of an ugly custody battle upon children. These are also the tools that your children will undoubtedly learn to use in their own relationships, as they have them modeled by their feuding parents.
Consider the following options to take your case into your own hands, and get the best results possible for the best interest of your children.
Top Five Myths about Hiring Attorneys to Win Child Custody Cases
1. Myth: Even good parents may at risk of losing custody of their children to their former spouse if they attempt to try their case without professional representation due to the many intricate factions of the complex family law system and their consequential deficiencies.
Fact: This is a false, but effective scare tactic that is universally employed by divorce and child custody attorneys. This perpetuation of this myth is the lock on the security door of ensured business. Think about it: Lawyers would not stay in business if their services were not considered essential.
2. Myth: Hiring an attorney will assure that a case is handled more quickly and efficiently than attempting to complete an entire custody case pro tem.
Fact: Attorneys stand to earn more money and trial credit from your case if it becomes more complex and drawn out. An examination of eight articles from the American Journal of Family Therapy which published results from several studies on this topic revealed quite the opposite. All of these studies conclusively reported clients feeling that they had negative experiences with their attorneys at the end of long custody battles which were prolonged by legal rabbit chasing type strategies. Ultimately these strategies had only negative impacts on the entire family, especially the children.
3. Myth: Judges prefer to deal with their colleagues, other attorneys, than emotionally loaded parents who are feuding over their children.
Fact: The effectiveness of this myth is in the presumption that all parents who are engaged in a custody battle present themselves in (and out) of court as “emotionally loaded.” In reality, judges prefer to get to the truth of a matter in order to make a decision that is in the best interest of the children. Parents who stay calm, focused, and intent on their child’s best interest are not subject to the threats contained in this myth that they will not be heard without an attorney to speak for them. Some judges also tend to respond somewhat tongue-in-cheek to parents who show up in court accompanied by high powered (and expensive) attorneys who try to convince them of their client’s justification for more child support or favorable financial settlements.
4. Myth: Attorneys provide their clients with a distinctive brand of moral support that cannot be reproduced outside of the attorney-client relationship.
Fact: This has become one of the most branded slogans commonly found on divorce law firm websites. Lawyers promise to bear the emotional cross of your divorce and custody battle for the mere cost of a retainer. What they do not tell you is that you will be charged for each phone call, venting session, and even email exchange. The more venting you do, the more they can charge you. Further, an attorney who is shouldering your emotions is not working effectively on your case; they are only billing you like they are working on it. Remember, they are professional convincers. They will tell you what you want to hear to keep your money coming.
5. Myth: Hiring an attorney will release you from responsibility of keeping up with your case prior to and after proceedings.
Fact: This is the myth that does the most damage to participants of the family court system. Attorneys are employed by those they can convince to trust them. They receive their retainers upon hiring, ensuring that they are paid regardless of the outcome of their promises. Too often, in too many courtrooms, parents are devastated by the consequences of unprepared and uncaring lawyers. The harsh reality is, no one will fight for your kids like you will. No one cares about the outcome of your case like you do. By employing the right strategies and keeping the right focus, you CAN win your child custody case without hiring an attorney.