In the same way that you will have many questions for your family lawyer, he or she will have a list of questions for you too. It’s important that you answer their questions to the best of your ability, as any information you provide could be useful to your case. That’s especially true when you’re working with a family law provider ahead of a child custody case.
When there’s so much at stake, you need to make sure you provide your lawyer with the following information.
Up-to-date information on your child
Let’s start with the basics: Your family law provider needs to know your child’s full legal name, date of birth, current address, current school, and even their nickname. Family law lawyers perform extensive research before going to court, and if necessary their team will conduct a thorough search of all available public records. This will require specific information about your family. As such, the more information you can provide to family lawyers, the better help they can provide to you.
Information about the other parent or caretaker
In any family law case, your lawyer needs to know about the opposing party. Divorce lawyers want to know where the other parent lives, works, and spends time. Likewise, if there is another adult living with the other parent, your family law provider should know that as well. In order to present a convincing case to the court, your legal representative needs to know everything there is to know about your child’s other guardian(s).
Any existing child support/custody plans
If you already have some kind of custody plan or visitation schedule in place, then your family law provider will need to review it. Without sufficient cause, it can be difficult to change orders already in place. Additionally, the amount of time a parent spends with a child can affect how much child support the non-custodial parent must pay.
If your child is involved in any other cases
If your child is involved in any other legal cases, it’s important that you tell your family law provider everything. They may be able to combine the cases to make the whole process more efficient. Any child support cases, abuse or neglect cases, and juvenile delinquency cases will tell the court that your child has certain needs. Your lawyer can use this information to tailor their arguments on your behalf.
In about 29% of custody cases, the final decision is made without any third party involvement. However, when co-parents can’t agree, divorce lawyers must help the parents work towards a resolution. And without all of the available information, your legal team can’t give you the support you need.