As a child support lawyer I would usually says absolutely to that question. But, in the interest of being fair lets go over the pros and cons of whether it is a good idea in your case.
What does a child support lawyer do?
Lets look at some of things that hiring a lawyer can do for you and your case.
The child support lawyer can represent you at all court hearings. For example, if you are asking for additional child support, you will be required to go before the judge and explain why you should get an increase. Nearly every legal case requires some form of hearing and usually you only get one opportunity to pleased your case. Having a lawyer who knows how to best present your case can be invaluable to you being successful.
The child support lawyer should be a legal expert experienced in child support that will explain the legal issues to you so that you can make informed decisions. Law can be complicated. Although you may know what you want, a lawyer will be able to explain how to achieve your goals. For example, a lawyer can tell what paperwork needs to be filed and important deadlines.
A lawyer can evaluate your case and decide the best path forward. Few things are worse than spending money on a legal action only to find out that you choose the wrong legal theory. A reputable family lawyer should be able to give you an honest appraisal of your case or whether you even have a case at all. Recently, I had to tell a potential client that she shouldn’t have signed the legal paperwork and it was going to be very time-consuming and expensive to fix the errors.
Other things the lawyer can do for you includes:
- Determine the address of the other parent.
- File for paternity.
- Determine tax ramifications of child support.
- Figure out enforcement options.
When you should think about hiring an attorney?
Although there are situations where you won’t need a lawyer, the following situations probably call for one.
Complexity of your case
Legal cases can get complex pretty quick. For instance, your spouse or former spouse disagrees with the amount of child support. Another example is you or the other parent wants to change the amount of child support. A good lawyer can cut through the complexity and focus on the details that matter.
The other parent has a lawyer.
Not hiring a lawyer when the other parent does can hurt your case. As a parent, you might have gone through this process only once, whereas the lawyer on the other side might have done 100s or more of these cases. They know what information is required to convince the judge to rule in your decision. They might even know the preferences of the judges in your district!
When you might not need a lawyer.
Both parents agree on each all the issues.
If you and the other parent agree on important issues like child support and parenting plan then you could probably head to court without the help of a lawyer. In this case, you simply have to fill out the paperwork, file, and attend any hearing that is required.
Paying for the lawyer.
Lawyers can be expensive. If finances are tight you might be forced to represent yourself even if the other parent can afford a lawyer. Still, to make an informed decision, you should call several lawyers in your area to get an idea of how much they usually charge. Some lawyers work hourly and others work on a flat fee.
Finding the best lawyer for you
When searching for a child support attorney ask the following questions to see if they are a good fit for you.
- What is their experience in cases like yours?
- What are the possible outcomes?
- How do they charge for their fees?
- Any other question that is important to you.
There are several reasons why you may need an attorney if you have issues with child support. I have reviewed some of the pros and cons in this post. If you have any questions please contact us using the form below or call 727-643-8964 for a free consultation.
Comments? Please leave one below. Contact attorney Joel Lipinski directly at 727-643-8964.