Should you hire a lawyer or go it alone? Many parents ask themselves this question when petitioning a court for child custody. Notably, the lack of money to hire a child custody lawyer drives many parents to represent themselves. While nothing is wrong with taking this route, it is risky, especially if a case is complicated. This article highlights common scenarios when you need to hire a child custody lawyer.
Significant Change in Circumstances -- Child custody cases often start simple, especially when both parents seem to be on the same page. However, the cases increasingly become complicated as they drag on. When this happens, it is time to lawyer up. Unfortunately, many parents are not aware when the circumstances of their child custody case change significantly. There are glaring red flags you should watch out for concerning your case. For instance, if your ex decides to cohabit with a new partner during a child custody case, you should hire a lawyer immediately. Similarly, if your ex plans to relocate with your child, you should hire a child custody lawyer.
Your Ex Denies You Access to Your Kids -- It is common for estranged partners to agree on child visitation. However, anything can happen along the way, and your ex could decide to deny you access to your kids. Such behaviour threatens your relationship with your children; therefore, you must take proactive steps to prevent such interference. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to reason with an ex who has decided to go this route. Consequently, you should think about getting help from a child custody lawyer. Most importantly, document your ex's behaviour, missed parenting times, text messages and phone calls, and anything else that might be relevant. Your lawyer needs this information when arguing your case in a family court.
History of Drug Use -- When your partner hires a lawyer, rest assured that they will use everything they can find against you. For instance, if you have a history of drug and alcohol use, you should immediately hire a child custody lawyer. Even if you use alcohol recreationally or occasionally, your ex and their lawyer might use the information to portray you in a bad light. Luckily, your ex must substantiate such claims with concrete evidence. Therefore, if you do not have a lawyer, it will be a case of your word against theirs. However, an experienced lawyer will choose the best strategy to defend your past actions.
Contact a lawyer to learn more.