Child custody matters are serious and can be life-changing for you and your children.
For this reason, it’s better to have an experienced lawyer on your side to assist you.
While hiring an attorney is often the obvious choice, the cost itself can have you thinking
twice. Many factors affect how much you can expect to spend on a custody lawyer,
including the complexity of your case and how long it takes to resolve.
When you require legal guidance but want to be conscious of your finances, an
unbundled lawyer may be the best option for you.
How Does a Child Custody Lawyer Help You with Your Case?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what a child custody lawyer can do for
Child custody lawyers are available to support you in every aspect of your case. No
matter the complexity of your case; your attorney can do any of the following:
● Draft and file petitions to the court
● Create legal strategies
● Gather important documentation and evidence
● Represent you in court and at mediations
● Assist you with parenting plans
● Support you throughout your case
● Handle custody modifications and enforcement
It can be particularly challenging to manage your entire child custody case alone without
the valuable assistance of an attorney. Custody cases are stressful enough as it is, but
having a lawyer on your side, such as those from divorceattorneystulsa.net/tulsa-oklahoma-child-custody-lawyers, can make all the difference.
How a Child Custody Lawyer Charges for their Fees
Lawyers employ different methods and payment plans for their services. For example,
usually, personal injury lawyers work on contingency, you don’t pay the attorney
anything out of pocket and instead, they take a percentage from your settlement or
Traditionally, child custody lawyers require a retainer fee before they even touch your
case. Retainer fees vary but can cost you anywhere from $5,000-$10,000 and greater.
Custody lawyers begin by working against the retainer, and once they’ve used it up,
they switch to hourly fees. Child custody attorney hourly fees typically range from $150
to $500 an hour.
While not as common, some custody lawyers also work on flat fees, meaning they only
charge one amount to work on your case. However, flat fees for custody attorney
services are commonly available for uncontested cases where the lawyer is not
expected to represent their client in a long and contentious case, and resolution is
Unfortunately, hiring a child custody lawyer is often an expensive proposition. For this
reason, many individuals go without legal representation, hoping to cut costs wherever
Factors Affecting Child Custody Lawyer Costs
Several factors affect how much you can expect to pay for your custody lawyer. Every
lawyer is different, but for the most part, the following details are what most frequently
affect custody attorney fees.
Contested vs. Uncontested Cases
Your type of case is the most common factor affecting child custody lawyer costs, with
When a case is uncontested, it means parents agree on most points and are likely
willing to work together to make decisions and seek resolution. Uncontested cases
usually resolve quicker, as there is little back and forth.
Contested cases, on the other hand, mean parents do not see eye to eye on one or
more key topics, and are therefore unable to communicate and make decisions for their
children together. Contested cases usually require court intervention, which makes
cases more time-consuming.
If you’re facing a difficult custody case, you can expect to spend more on attorney’s
fees, as your lawyer needs to put in more time and energy.
Specialists and Witnesses
Some child custody cases require specialists and experts, like child psychologists, or
witnesses to strengthen your case. Not only does this mean more work for your lawyer,
but it also means more money out of your pocket, as many of these experts charge fees
for their time and testimony.
Length of the Case
The longer the case, the more money it will cost. This concept usually reigns true in
most legal matters.
Cases that resolve quicker don’t require as much time and money. If your case drags
on, you likely face more expenses.
Trial is not only stressful and time-consuming, but it’s also quite costly. You’ll need to
pay for legal representation, along with other associated fees, like court fees and expert
Going to trial is never ideal, but may be necessary to resolve your case, depending on
the details of your situation.
Complexities of a Case
Every child custody case is different, presenting a unique set of circumstances.
However, some cases are more complex than others.
Some of the situations that can add a layer of complexity to your custody case include
● Domestic violence
● Child abuse or neglect
● Mental illness in children or parents
● Substance abuse
● Criminal history and/or current incarceration
● Parents in the military
While cases with certain complex issues can be resolved, they regularly require more
time, energy, and legal representation.
Determining Whether You Should Hire a Child Custody
Lawyer for Your Matter
Many parents feel comfortable enough to tackle their custody cases alone without
representation. However, if you face any of the following circumstances, you’re likely
better off hiring a custody lawyer:
● You have a poor relationship with your child’s other parent
● Your custody case involves certain complexities
● You and your child’s other parent don’t live in the same city or state
● You fear for your child’s safety and well-being
● The other parent is impeding your relationship with your child
● The other parent has a lawyer of their own
While hiring a child custody lawyer may seem unnecessary, it can help provide the
guidance and peace of mind you need during your custody battle.
An Unbundled Lawyer Can Help Keep Your Legal Expenses Low
Child custody lawyers are usually expensive. For this reason, many parents think twice
before hiring one. This can, however, harm your case or chances to get custody, as
handling your legal matter on your own can be particularly difficult.
Unlike traditional lawyers, unbundled lawyers only charge for the services you need
If you’re comfortable handling certain aspects of your case and relying on your
attorney to take on others, an unbundled lawyer can help you keep costs at a minimum
while allowing you to have the legal representation you need.