How to Find a Good Child Support Lawyer?
Updated: Nov 3
Child support arrangements are highly complicated in cases of marriage dissolution. According to most surveys, child support agreements are rarely successful without legal mediation. This is because these arrangements are often intermixed with child custody battles, which are stressful and emotional.
Though legal intervention is often necessary, searching for a good child support lawyer is a challenging task. One must evaluate several factors before deciding on an attorney.
If someone is seeking a child support lawyer, here are factors they must consider during their search:
What is Child Support?
Firstly, it is essential to define what counts as child support. Oftentimes, most people are
confused with what child support can and cannot cover. Therefore, for parents currently dealing with a child support case, a clarification is necessary.
Upon divorce or separation, child support may be part of an agreement between two parents whereby the parent with primary child custody is paid a set amount of money every month or so. As mentioned, child support is typically part of the child custody agreement.
The money provided by child support is solely meant for the child’s (or children’s) essential life needs such as food and shelter. It may also include medical needs, health insurance, hospital bills, and medication. Payments for schooling and other educational expenses also count as child support.
It is important to note that these payments do not cover living expenses for the custodial parent. Moreover, they do not cover a luxury lifestyle for the child. They typically cover the child’s foremost physical and social needs.
Child support payments do not necessarily have to be made monthly. Both the frequency and amount of the payments can differ from case to case. Similarly, these payments do not necessarily have to be from one parent. Both parents can be legally mandated to contribute.
What Does a Good Child Support Lawyer Do?
Lawyers are invaluable in child support cases. Apart from providing legal insight, they help parents find reasonable solutions in their co-parenting arrangements, which benefit both them and their children.
However, some lawyers may provide better insight than others. Child support and custody lawsuits are highly sensitive. If a parent feels their lawyer does not understand their needs, they may consider changing their counsel. Otherwise, they might not reach a satisfactory agreement.
The right lawyer will help the parent in a wide variety of areas. For example, lawyers can file a child support petition, which may be tough for the parent to do. Asking for money is both socially and legally a sensitive task.
Lawyers can also aid in determining the child support amount and contribution from either party. They do this by subpoenaing the other parent’s financial documents such as income statements. If the father’s paternity is in question, lawyers may seek reliable paternity testing.
They may also help enforce child support payments by filing a rule for contempt. For example, failure to comply with child support arrangements is a common issue in family court. Most courts punish the negligent parties with contempt orders and wage garnishments.
What to Look For in a Child Support Lawyer?
Before beginning a search for a reliable child support lawyer, one must do in-depth research. There are multiple qualities to look for in a lawyer, including credentials and affordability. These may be the top priorities.
In terms of credentials, a lawyer must have relevant experience in order to handle a child support case. If the lawyer is from abroad or out-of-state, they must be licensed to practice law in Louisiana and familiar with local child custody and support laws.
Affordability is also a key criteria. Legal services can be expensive, costing up to four and five figures. If a parent cannot afford a lawyer, they must look for alternative options such as pro bono lawyers.
However, some lawyers opt for a flat fee. If one cannot afford a lawyer with hourly rates, they can find one willing to work for a flat fee.
Another key criterion is comfort level. A lawyer must be able to connect with their client,
especially in personal cases such as child custody and support. Only then can parents trust lawyers with their personal information.
How to Find a Good Child Support Lawyer?
The selection process does not necessarily have to be extensive. The parent may simply do an internet search for family lawyers in their area. However, the most reliable way to find a good child support lawyer simply involves two steps:
Ask for References from Trusted People
For child support cases, trust is of the essence. Parents should seek lawyers who they believe are trustworthy. The best way to do this is to get references from friends, relatives, or even acquaintances.
If friends or family do not have references, it is better to ask people in the workplace. Most companies have associations with law firms and can easily connect their employees with a reputable lawyer.
Many parents often join single parent support groups. People in these support groups will also undoubtedly have excellent recommendations for trustworthy attorneys.
Alternatively, legal experts and retired lawyers at the local state bar association may also have solid recommendations. They are easily contacted through the local offices or state website.
Interview All Potential Lawyers to Gauge Their Skills
Once a parent develops a list of potential lawyers, they may shortlist their options based on the above-mentioned criteria. They might look for credentials, affordability, and comfort level. The last factor can only be judged through an interview.
Like all interviews, the parents must prepare their questions beforehand. Usually, most lawyers, upon being contacted, ask for certain documents. For example, these documents may include income records, tax records, and divorce documents.
Parents may ask the lawyer about their previous experience, certifications, client references, the next steps in your case, the potential results of your case, and fee structures. By evaluating their answers and personality, parents can judge whether the lawyer is right for them.
Handling child support requests is challenging. Family lawyers who specialize in child custody and support cases are the best options for all parents involved in such lawsuits. By finding the right lawyer, the custodial parent can get their child their rightful due.
Our Law Firm
Here at the Law Office of Gaynell Williams LLC, we have experienced lawyers who have dealt with all kinds of divorce and family law cases including cases dealing with spousal support and alimony issues. If you are doubtful or have any queries, call us to make a free appointment, and we will make sure to answer all your questions. With the experience of over 30 years dealing with divorce and family law cases, we know how to develop effective communication and deep understanding of your case, and will try to help you in any possible way we can.
CONTACT US TODAY
Gaynell Williams LLC Attorney at Law offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. The first consultation can be in person or it can be virtual, on the Internet. Call Gaynell Williams today at (504) 302-2462 for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will work around your schedule.
© 2021 Gaynell Williams