It’s a situation from hell that no parent wants to find themselves in—fighting to get child support from their former spouse or partner.
Legally, parents are entitled to child support to cover the costs of education, food, clothing, and general costs associated with raising your child. However, it’s sadly the case that some parents ignore or disregard child support arrangements.
In this case, you might need to work with a child support lawyer to help you get the income you need for your children. However, with so many child support lawyers out there, it can be challenging to find the right lawyer.
To learn more, keep reading to find five key tips to help you find the perfect child support lawyer for your needs.
1. First, Understand What You Need from a Child Support Lawyer
Dealing with child support issues can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming—you know you need to fight for the money you deserve, but how do you go about it?
First, it helps to sit down calmly and put emotions aside. Although it can be hard, try to work out the crux of the issue—what, specifically, do you need help with from a lawyer?
Once you work out your specific needs, it’ll be easier to narrow your focus when hiring a lawyer.
When working out your needs, you also want to make sure you understand the child support laws within your state. It can be confusing, as states all operate on different child support models—even trickier if you and your ex-spouse now live in different states.
The most common state models are based on income sharing, percentage of income, or a more complicated model called the Melson Formula, but your lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions on how this works.
However, the more research you do into your state’s laws, the easier it will be to figure out what you need and help you find the right attorney.
2. Find a Firm That Specializes in Child Support
It sounds obvious, but there are dozens and dozens of types of lawyers in the world, so it helps to find one that specializes in child support cases. Not every lawyer works on these types of cases daily, but you want to find someone who does.
Look for a firm that not only specializes in child support, but also one with a proven track record of success. This will give your case the best chance of a positive outcome, as experienced child support lawyers can navigate the complex legal system to get you results.
3. Read Plenty of Reviews
With so many lawyers out there, it’s essential to read reviews online before hiring a lawyer. While most law firms will post testimonials on their own website, you want to dig a bit deeper—search online for reviews on unbiased, third-party sites like Google or Yelp.
This will provide a more honest and accurate picture of the firm’s success. Look for reviews that talk about the firm’s customer service, experience levels, and communication.
Because a child support matter is so personal and sensitive, look for reviews that also talk about the firm’s care and respect when working with clients. You need to find a lawyer that understands the emotional hardship that comes with child support cases.
Or, if you know anyone else who’s recently gone through a similar situation, you might want to ask them for a personal recommendation. First-hand suggestions can be a very helpful way to find a great lawyer.
4. Ask Plenty of Questions
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to just a handful of law firms, you’ll want to reach out to them for a consultation. This is your opportunity to ask plenty of questions, helping you work out which firm is best for your needs.
The first question to start with should relate to payment. Lawyers can charge either hourly or a flat-fee, but both can end up being very expensive.
Before committing to a lawyer, you want to make sure it’s within your budget, so ask them to provide an estimate of your total costs.
You’ll also want to ask about their educational background, experience, and timeframes. As some law firms are quite busy, you want to find a firm that has the availability to start on your case right away.
5. Find a Firm With Care and Compassion
Another key tip to find the right law child support lawyer is to trust your instinct. Does a firm seem like a place that genuinely cares about your family and your situation, or do they seem like they’re just out for your money?
Not all firms are as caring as others, so you definitely need to find a firm that is sensitive to your needs. The ideal law firm should be one that respects your privacy, has care and compassion for your case, and is willing to offer patience and respect when working with you.
Use These Tips to Find the Right Child Support Lawyer
If you’re going through a challenging situation after your divorce or separation, working with a child support lawyer can make a huge difference. Using the tips above, start doing research into local law firms, looking for the right one for your needs.
While it may take a bit of time and research, you’re sure to find an emphatic and experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights in court. That way, you’re sure to get the child support you’re legally entitled to, helping your children live a better life.
If you found this article helpful, please keep reading to find more informative legal content.