Many couples go through the experience of fighting a legal battle for the custody of their children. The experience can be frightening, draining, and overwhelming. Things become more difficult if the money required to fight such a legal battle is more than they can afford.
If your financial capability is not that high to afford legal help, you can choose from the cheap and available options. For some, appointing lawyers to represent them in such legal battles can be free of cost. According to the ABA or the American Bar Association, one can obtain legal representation from the legal aid office nearest to them. These agencies offer financial support for legal issues. If you are running low on finances and want to appoint a pro bono attorney, here are the things you should know.
Consider Where You Stand FInancially
Fighting legal battles on child custody can be financially draining. You will have to pay the attorney every hour and shell out a retainer to support your case. As a parent who isn’t financially strong to hire a private attorney, you can choose two options. You can opt for pro se litigation or represent yourself in legal battles. Alternatively, you can fulfill the income requirements of the pro bono program to ask a pro bono attorney to fight your case. If you want to go pro se, search the details and find the resources in the self-help resources section of the state government’s website.
Know the Person You are Fighting Against
If the person you are fighting against has an attorney to represent them, you should drop the idea of representing yourself in court. It’s always in your best interests to hire a lawyer for yourself. You should ask a qualified bar member to fight for you in court. It will help if you get acquainted with the trial expertise and learn how the legal system works.
You will also be satisfied and content because you know someone reliable is handling your case. Not many custody cases go up in court. If your custody battle goes up in court, your lawyer’s experience and knowledge of how to negotiate can be really valuable. This is especially true when agreeing with the opposition is in question.
Find a Lawyer You Feel You Can Work With
When you appoint an attorney to fight your legal battle, you need to make sure that you are comfortable working with them. In terms of the pro bono services, you might feel that you need to put your strategies or ideas on the backburner for the custody battle.
However, you do not have to do that just because the attorney is fighting your case for free. Of course, you can refuse a lawyer’s representation. However, you will lose valuable time in requesting a new representation. In most child custody cases, clients cannot avail themselves of free representation.
As a result, they might not be able to avail a new lawyer or have to wait. In such a situation, you need to go back to the agency from whom you have previously taken pro bono services or request a new lawyer through the court. Lawyers must provide correct and honest advice to the clients until they formally represent them. This includes transferring the case to a new lawyer.
Make Sure Your Attorney Knows About Family Law
Pro bono programs are usually supported and sponsored by the corporate law departments. So, you might come across an attorney who generally practices corporate law. But it makes their minds to fight a case as a family law attorney.
Even though there’s nothing wrong with this, you need to ensure that a lawyer representing you in court has ample knowledge about the family law procedures. Otherwise, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Before going forward, always ask your lawyer how familiar they are with family law.
Always do your research. It would help if you researched the lawyer who will represent you. It would help to know how the courts operate in child custody cases before appointing someone. We hope you found this blog useful. Do let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions in the comments section!