How Do I Find an Affordable Child Custody Lawyer to Help Me?
It’s tough to find yourself in a position where you need an affordable child custody lawyer. As a parent, you want what’s best for your children, and you want to protect your right to care for them.
At this stage of the divorce process, a good lawyer is essential. The actions you take today will have an effect later on, and you don’t want to inadvertently damage your case. Be sure to retain counsel immediately so that you understand your rights and responsibilities, as well as how the family courts decide on custody issues.
To make sure you find the right lawyer for you and your situation, meet with a few different ones and ask some questions about their experience, approach, and values. This information will be vital to choosing the appropriate lawyer.
Don’t Assume that Hiring a Lawyer Will Lead to Family Court
Many people mistakenly assume that by hiring a lawyer, you’re committing to taking your ex to court. This is not the case at all! In fact, the legal system in Ontario is set up to provide you and your ex with plenty of opportunities to work things out without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom.
Family court is rarely used to decide on child custody, visitation rights, or support, unless the two parties absolutely cannot come to a decision through mediation, collaborative family practice, or arbitration. When you have a dispute with your ex over issues relating to your kids, try to keep the best interests of your children foremost in your mind. Educate yourself and be realistic about what you can expect. This will make the separation and divorce process much easier on the entire family.
Navigating Finances During Separation and Divorce
The added stress on your monthly budget can be challenging for anyone. Just tell yourself that you’re dealing with an unusual situation and allow yourself some latitude.
It’s helpful to talk with your kids about your current financial situation to make them aware that things might be different for a little while. Just helping them understand that this is a temporary situation and that you’re doing everything you can to keep things as normal as possible will help them a lot.
That said, be aware that you will need to make some changes to your spending habits, and that the cost of divorce involves more than your personal finances. Look for new ways to celebrate life’s milestones that involve spending less money, or even none at all. This will help your financial situation and is a great lesson to teach your kids as well.
Learn How Legal Costs are Calculated
It’s very common for people to make assumptions about how legal costs are worked out without really understanding the process, or what the options are. Learning about how this really works can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
There are a few different scenarios that can affect how much you end up paying your lawyer. For example, you can get coaching and advice from a lawyer, but handle things like filing paperwork and developing a legal argument yourself. This is a good option if you have some extra time to spend on your case but limited financial resources.
There are other ways legal fees can be handled as well. Usually, at your initial consultation, your lawyer will give you an estimate of how much time will be required for your case and ask for a retainer. There will also be costs for disbursements, and you can speak with your lawyer about how those costs can be mitigated.
Ask How Your Child Custody Lawyer Can Make Things More Affordable
Don’t assume that the legal fees are set in stone. Sometimes your lawyer will be willing to negotiate flexible payments or other arrangements, depending on your case and your financial situation. There are other things you can do to keep costs down as well. By organizing your paperwork in advance, you can reduce the amount of time your lawyer will need to spend helping you get everything together. Try to bundle your questions together into one email or save them for your scheduled meetings to avoid driving up the amount of time your legal team spends on your case. Finally, focus on the bigger issues such as child custody and child visitation arrangements, and be prepared to let the little things go. If you’re looking for more information on child support and custody, read our Ontario Child Support 101 article.
Speak to Galbraith Family Law About Affordable Options
It might seem as if getting through your separation and divorce will take forever and cost a fortune – but this does not have to be the case. When you look back, you’ll realize that the reassurance of having a solid agreement between you and your ex was well worth the investment of time, money, and energy in a good lawyer to advocate for you. To get in touch with Galbraith Family Law, fill out the contact form on our website or give us a call. If you live in the Newmarket area, call (289) 319-0634; if you’re in Barrie, call (705) 727-4242.