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Can I Fight for Custody Without a Lawyer?

child custody attorney raleigh nc

If you are getting a divorce or are separating from a co-parent, it's normal to worry about a custody fight. After all, neither parent wants to be without their children, and in particularly acrimonious separations, children can become another issue to fight over.

But, do you need a child custody attorney or can you fight without one? Legally, you don't have to have a lawyer, but let's look at the reasons having a custody lawyer representing you is the right decision.

Child Custody Attorneys Manage Expectations

Child custody in North Carolina is complicated, and the court determines custody based on the best interest of the child, looking at multiple factors to make their decision, including:

  • Relationship with the child
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Ability to provide stability and safe conditions
  • Willingness to promote a positive relationship between the child and other parent
  • History of domestic violence or abuse
  • History of substance abuse

You can discuss your unique situation as well as your goals for custody with your attorney as well as present information about your co-parent. Using this information, your lawyer can help you set realistic expectations for your case.

For example, if you want sole custody of your children your attorney can look at the factors in your case and help you determine if this is a realistic possibility or what a more favorable agreement may look like.

Custody Lawyers Can Keep You Out of the Courtroom

North Carolina law requires parents to undergo custody mediation to avoid having a trial. Both parties meet with a mediator to discuss custody and work out a parenting agreement that both are satisfied with. While attorneys do not attend mediation sessions through this program, your attorney can help you prepare for this, inform you of your rights, and review the draft of any parenting agreement created prior to being signed by a judge.

Additionally, your custody attorney and your co-parent's attorney can sit down and negotiate a collaborative parenting agreement outside of a courtroom. This minimizes the custody fight and allows you both to work out an agreement while having legal representation to ensure your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly.

Your Child Custody Attorney Will Fight For You

Most importantly, having legal representation means you don't have to fight for custody, your attorney will do it for you. Consider these benefits that a child custody attorney can bring to your case:

  • Understanding the court system and how to navigate it on your behalf
  • Filling out paperwork correctly or walking you through how to fill out paperwork
  • Gathering information and presenting it to the court to place you in a more favorable light
  • Knowing how to question and cross-examine individuals during a court hearing as well as prepare you to answer questions

Child custody is one of the most difficult aspects of a separation or divorce. Experienced legal representation makes the process less stressful and often results in better outcomes.

Schedule a Consultation with a Child Custody Attorney in Raleigh

If you would like to learn more about how a child custody lawyer can assist you, reach out to our experienced family law firm today. To schedule a consultation, call us at (919) 301-8843 or fill out the form below to learn more.

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