What happen in a time-sharing dispute or formally known as custody dispute?
I have seen a lot of things happen from a father stopping medical care to a special need child to parents using the minor children as weapons against each and other, poisoning kids mind in an attempt to alienate from the other parent i, etc …
I can definably write a book with all I have seen, now how about experience yourself a child custody battle with your love one.
I am experiencing now a custody dispute and I am astonish to see so much of a dirty tricks that involve attorneys , medical field and families with children, after my years of doing paralegal and mediation work I thought I knew it all, NO, NO, NO I am actually learning now.
Usually attorneys would tell a client a strategy how to win a case here is an illustration what it appears is the case in my own family court case:
Well as you know you can’t bring children to court to testified when they are little, however you can bring someone like psychologist to speak on behalf of the child since the psychologist is your expert witness you are paying for him to give his opinion, now you can guess what his opinion is going to be in favorite the parent who is paying or the one who is not….
I hate to generalize my opinion against a professional since I have seen good lawyer’s good individuals in the medical field so is unfortunate to them when others represent a bad image.
However, if you ask anyone their personal opinion about lawyers you will not hear good things.
Working with lawyers I also few bad for those lawyers who struggle to make a live with $150,000 to $300,000 in student loans to pay and learning that most people don’t understand what they do neither the legal system and blame them for everything.
However I believe society has it wrong we have a family legal system in place that encourages unethical practice by professionals like lawyers causing a great pain in our families and the future of many kids and the worst is the legal system may protect those who engage in such behavior conduct.
If you are in a custody dispute or anticipate being in one you should be very careful because I hear a lot of histories that not always being the best parent gives you an advantage in your legal custody dispute battle.
If you are able to afford a lawyer do it you are too emotional involved let someone else handles for you, just make sure your attorney is a family law attorney and follow these steps
- Research his reviews on the web,
- Check how many years of experience as a family law attorney he has
- Research if he has trial experience
- Ask if he is Board Certified in Family Law
- Go to the courts and check how many cases in family he has handled
- Check to see have many motions on behalf of his clients were granted or denied
If you have an opportunity to suggest to the other parent Mediation it may save you both tons of money and trouble fighting against each other.
There is even programs that two mediators work together in order to settle everyone dispute without all the trouble.
Family therapy counsel before attending mediation may help especially when parties have a history of bad experiences with each and other.
Whatever you do should always think in the interest of your child, this is a short statement but with a big definition since they are in the middle of a fight as innocents’ lives all they want is to be loved and have an opportunity to be happy as children should be.
I will be putting together a petition for our legislators to improve the way family law practice operates and hopefully they will listen.
I wish the best for you reading my blog:
Should I hire a Lawyer for my Divorce case?
The answer to this question required an evaluation of the situation with this blog I will be able to help you, however the information provided over this site is an express of opinion and should not substitute legal advice from a License Attorney in your State.
I will be telling you real facts and experiences that may help you gather more information about the Divorce or Family Law issues.
So one day you get married have kids and then your wife or husband wants to divorce you or something happen causing the separation of both of you.
Let’s start telling you who I am and my background I am a Mediator and Paralegal who went to law school have a bachelors in business administration and attend several classes in conflict resolution including family divorce courses for mediators.
I also got married have a beautiful daughter and now I am in a middle of a Divorce that started quietly but is about to get ugly.
My wife a college grad who also worked before as a legal assistance at a law firm and a person who has knowledge of the law and legal procedures now has changed her mind about her Marital Settlement Agreement that she signed freely, let me just make sure to be more correct with my statement “ She claims that she signed the agreement under DURESS “ to be more specific she wants a particular part of the agreement to be null & void, but is only the part she doesn’t get any financial benefit, she is okay with the part she got the money for the purchase of her new free and clear home, that part she was not under Duress.
One week prior our divorce to be finalized my wife hired an attorney who them filed a motion to set aside our marital agreement that we had entered in which was the second agreement we had entered since my wife had previously changed her mind with the first one and several concessions were made in the second one for her benefit.
The attorney she hired is believed to have fabricated false allegations in support of his motion in order to present to the courts a different history of the real facts involving this divorce without any witness or proof for the allegations.
Now you would think me the husband a paralegal / mediator who have seen several divorces and worked with family law attorneys would do fine handling this legal battle right…
In theory “YES” but the reality is far way from what it appears to be.
When you are presented with false allegations you want justice, however that same feeling may let your emotions take over your skills. Additionally, when your children are involved in any kind of conflict you are more emotional involved, this combination can result in your failure.
There is an old saying that when you are representing yourself or PRO SE you have a fool as a client and with my own experience that statement is true.
I have seen many cases of divorces that parties or people have handed them self’s without an attorney and it works out fine, so I thought in my case wouldn’t be any different my wife specifically expressed to me before that she didn’t want an attorney there was no need for it since this was a uncontested dissolution of marriage or a divorce without a fight.
I myself thought well if she gets what she wants and there is no unresolved dispute between me and her and we both agreed with everything why I need an attorney.
In theory the answer is YES you may not need an attorney, however if my wife had an attorney prior of signing the agreement it would be not so easy for her to claimed Duress now, however usually when parties have attorneys settlements are not reach easily.
Now let’s talk about court civil rules and procedures when I saw that my final hearing (date the divorce will be finalized) on my Divorce was court ordered scheduled already I thought that my wife’s attorney would have to file something to cancel, NO he just sent an e-mail to the judge and the hearing was canceled just like that simple.
Now you a non attorney go try in cancel a hearing that was court order with a simple e-mail request to a judge and tell me if it works …. NOOOOO.
The attorney also unilaterally scheduled a hearing without asking me if I was available on that date, I called the clerk of the courts and they told me that attorney’s were allowed to pick and choose whatever dates they want and feel like but not me, if I want to scheduled anything I will need to first fill out some request forms “A” for someone to contact me back then call my Wife’s attorney to ask his permission to scheduling anything and submit my motions to the court and wait for approval.
I hope that by now you see that the county court I am dealing with is not friendly to anyone acting Pro Se or representing them self’s without a lawyer.
So a summary of everything I said if your case causes you to be emotional involved is better to let someone else handling, someone who has the experience and skills in the area of law you are in need to.
If you choose to hire a paralegal you should know that he can’t represent you in the court of law and has no court experience, the only thing he can do is draft papers. Additionally, courts judges and attorneys will not welcome any paralegal into any case in court and many States Laws have enacted criminal prosecution against Paralegals who appear to be representing anyone or even using the title “Paralegal”.
Now if you can’t afford a lawyer and there are no other options available for you such as legal aid society, you may hire someone a non attorney or paralegal to help you draft forms, but as I mentioned here in this blog representing yourself under the circumstances I have described above is almost impossible.
Not to discourage anyone 70% of all cases are handled Pro Se or by self represented individuals such as uncontested divorces, however in some circumstances you will need an attorney for sure.
GOOD LUCKY I HOPE THIS BLOG HELPS YOU!
Tips on how to properly hire a Lawyer!
We all one day will be in need of LEGAL HELP at least once in our life time, it could be a CAR ACCIDENT, SLIP AND FALL, DIVORCE, BANKRUPTCY, IMMIGRATION LAW,REAL ESTATE EVICTION, CONTRACT DISPUTE, CIVIL LITIGATION, CRIMINAL LAW ACCUSATION and more …
However, who should help you with your legal issue?
Or an attorney who is a specialist in the area of law I am in need?
How do I know if the lawyer really is a specialist in that particular area of law that he or she is claiming to be?
Well the answer to all the questions above questions are a little complex then you think since you may interview a lawyer and he tells you he went to Howard Law school and he graduated with honors and he in fact is knowledgeable in the area of law you are looking seek help with.
Then you interview another lawyer and he doesn’t have all the credentials the lawyer mentioned above has, but you feel more comfortable dealing with him or he is cheaper and you can’t afford the other one.
So should you hire a lawyer because he is cheaper?
I can only describe my experiences dealing with lawyers and their clients as their paralegal I noticed that people want the lawyer who makes them feel good and sometimes that’s all they will get for a short time since some lawyers are very good sales person.
In my personal opinion you should handle the hiring of a lawyer very serious, and take in consideration several factors such as:
- Years of experience as a lawyer
- Years of experience in the areas of law he has practice
What kind of certifications should they have?
Some lawyers are board certified in a specific area of law which demonstrates a broad knowledge in that particular area they are certified, since in order to be certified they have to do C.L.E. (continue legal education) and exams to demonstrate competency.
Here is the question I would ask:
The first question should be, how much is the fees for his or hers service, since there is no point and ask any other questions if you can’t afford.
You may ask for a reduce rate fee or pro-Bono (free) it doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you realize you can’t afford any legal representation try non-profit organizations or legal aid society to help you.
They are several types of fees that you could be charged.
Here are some examples:
- Contingency which is a fee that is only charged if you the client receives any money, this is usually used in personal injury cases, car accidents, slip and fall and others
You may never see a lawyer charging a contingency fee in a Divorce,Bankruptcy, Eviction,Immigration and Criminal cases and others since your case may not generate any income or the lawyer has no way in foreseeing how much work he will be required to do.
- Hourly rate is where the lawyer will bill you for each hour he or she works on your behalf that includes phone calls, drafting of legal forms, client consultation, e-mails, faxes, travel time via car bus or any other means of transportation and appearances in court or any other places he appears on your behalf.
This type of fee is most common in cases such as Divorce and other civil litigation cases since the lawyer has no way in foreseeing how much work he will be required to do on your behalf.
- Flat fees are a set amount scheduled for you to pay, so if the lawyer charges $1,000.00 your bill is $1000.00 excluding other costs such as court fees etc …
So now that you have already determined how you will be charged and that you are able to afford the fees, next step is to verify if what the lawyer told you is true and you can do that by using the following methods:
- Go to your State bar association and see if he is listed there as eligible to practice law.
- Next, verified if he or she was ever charged with any disciplinary action, don’t base your decision of hiring a lawyer entirely on this, since very good lawyers sometimes have a past history with some kind of disciplinary sanction placed by the bar, try in read the complaint that was filed showing the allegations, by reading the complaint you may also ask the lawyer: What happen?
- Ask the lawyer if he or she ever represented anyone on trial and if he is a trial lawyer, if so what the outcome was, again don’t base your decision of hiring a lawyer entirely on this since your case may not even go to trial.
Now if you want to go deep in verifying your lawyer’s experience,
- plug in his name into the courts data base and see how many cases he or she have handled and the type of cases.
Additionally, you may be able to even see his performance by looking how many motions placed by him or her have been granted, again don’t base your decision of hiring a lawyer entirely on this since he may just moved there or he may practice most of the time in another jurisdiction.
Now let me give you the inside top secret information, you may hired a very fancy top of the food chain law firm, but you may get a lawyer fresh out law school to represent you , however usually he will handle simple hearings .
He may be trained by the firms most experiences lawyers. As we all know the wealthy pays better and the service is expected to be better.
By now you should have lot of information helping in making the right decision
The hiring of a lawyer is very important decision that could affect your life forever.