There are 1,315,561 lawyers in the United States. Many of these lawyers work specifically in child custody cases. If you’re in a situation where you need to consider looking for one who specializes in such cases, not just anyone will suffice. It’s a difficult time to be in, so you need the best possible child custody lawyer to guide you through the process from the beginning.
First, what experience should your lawyer have?
To become a lawyer, people undergo many long years of school and work experience. After receiving a bachelor degree, every future lawyer must take the LSAT and enter law school. From there, they shall receive a Juris Doctorate and take another exam to ensure they must pass to ensure the American Bar Association understands they’re qualified. The final step is taking the bar exam for the state in which they plan to practice. If you begin looking for a child custody lawyer, they must have passed the bar exam for the state of Tennessee. Otherwise, they cannot legally do so.
You may also want to prioritize a lawyer with experience in related cases. For instance, there are lawyers who know child custody laws better than others thanks to their previous work. If you select a lawyer who specializes in a different topic such as animal abuse or land issues, you risk not having the most effective person for the job.
Second, what types of questions should you ask?
You have to plan some questions when you’re preparing to meet your lawyer for the first time. Ask them to assess your case and provide insight on how to proceed. You may find your child custody case can be solved out of court. It’s also beneficial to ask how long your case may take. With their experience in other cases, they should have an idea of a time frame and how much time you’d need to dedicate to it. Finally, you need to know if there are other lawyers working on your case. If you’re going to a firm with multiple practicing lawyers, then you need to know who else is influencing the case. It’s possible to agree with one lawyer and not others within the same firm. If that’s the case, consider asking for them to take on your case on their own or looking into other possibilities.
Third, what if I cannot afford a lawyer?
In many cases, you may find yourself unable to pay for a lawyer. If you cannot afford a child custody attorney, you will likely not be appointed one from the court. At its most basic premise, child custody is considered a civil case and does not normally qualify for a lawyer. However, if your situation worsens and you need a lawyer, the Legal Aid Society in Tennessee helps with civil cases for those who cannot afford one.