Do you plan to hire a Greenville child custody lawyer but are uncertain about the cost? The same is true for many others. While it is important to consider your budget, it is equally important to understand the consequences of not hiring an attorney.
A child custody attorney usually charges $3,500 to $5,500 for their services, and after that, many charges between $300 and $500 per hour. If you think hiring duty counsel is sometimes costly, you are correct. Learn more about the cost of hiring a duty counsel and where affordable lawyers can be found.
In South Carolina, according to the Code of Laws, the custodial parent is responsible for contributing every day on behalf of their children, whereas the non-custodial parent is responsible for contributing to the parent with whom the children spend most of their time.
How Can I Benefit from a Child Custody Lawyer?
Family law attorneys advise and support their clients in matters of child custody. Their role is to help their clients create or modify a custody arrangement that meets the interests and needs of their children. The following family law services are provided by child custody lawyers:
- Divorce and separation from marriage
- Drafting of parenting plans and child custody agreements
- Establishing Paternity
- Altering Existing Custody Agreements.
A Greenville child custody lawyer also assists clients through the paperwork process, represents them at mediation or court, and drafts and files petitions. They also conduct investigations, prepare clients for court, and negotiate child support payments. A child custody attorney charges a high fee because they combine together everything (their knowledge and years of experience) while working your cases.
Do Child Custody Lawyers Charge Too Much Money?
The legal fees associated with a child custody case play the largest role in the cost of your Greenville child custody case. However, other elements can influence the overall price as well, such as:
- Cost of expert and/or specialist witnesses
- Miscellaneous costs
- The number of hours that will be/have been spent on your case
- Ad litem guardian appointments
- The total number of motions filed
Why Are Litigation Cases More Expensive?
There is an important distinction between a controversial child custody case and a dispute over custody issues. For example, alimony, parenting time, property division, etc. Contested child custody cases are generally more expensive due to the need for mediators, the time spent in court, and the additional testimony needed. Lawyers charge an advance fee and an hourly rate for litigious custody cases.
As compared to contested custody cases, uncontested cases involve parents who have already reached an agreement on certain significant custody matters. Some attorneys charge block fees in uncontested cases.
How Shared Custody Cases Affect Your Lawyer’s Fees?
When parents are going through a divorce or child custody dispute, an approved parenting plan is required. The parenting plan is a framework that governs how the parents will handle all matters relating to the children. A parenting plan should address, among other things, establishing the children’s best interests:
- Detailed plans of when and how much time children will spend with parents are known as parenting plans
- A custody agreement that defines the responsibilities of physical custody and legal custody
- Designation of custody responsibility for health care
- Responsibility for school affairs
If a parent fails to meet the bargain or the child’s needs change, the other parent (or both) may request a change to the shared parenting plan. This is because shared parenting plans rely on the relationship between the two partners. A change in parenting plans may be necessary due to several reasons, including:
- Children grow up and the current plan does not meet their needs
- A parent moves
- New work hours are established by one or both parents
- Loss of income or income reduction
- Risks to the safety of minors
In cases where modifications to shared custody plans are needed, lawyers may offer services such as making telephone calls, compiling and filing legal claims, representing clients during settlement negotiations, discussing issues with counterparties, and appearing in court. If you are not disputing the modifications you request, the charges are usually much lower than if you are contesting them.
Will It Cost More If My Attorney Develops a Custody Arrangement and Parenting Plan?
As the base of a strong parenting plan, a custody agreement and parenting plan are essential. Even though parents can develop these two forms of agreement without hiring attorneys, it’s not usually in either party’s interests to do so. Learn more about a lawyer’s role in working out a custody agreement and parenting plan below.
What Is a Custody Contract?
In many custody agreements, third parties, such as grandparents, may be permitted to assume custody in the event of one or both parents’ death. Most custody agreements also detail how child support will be handled.
A lawyer will assist and advise at each stage of the process of developing a custody agreement. They will oversee the negotiation and finalization of the agreement. The number of additional services expected will be determined by the extent of disagreement between parents regarding most issues.
What is a Parenting Program?
Parenting plans can be among the most stressful issues parents face in a divorce. Finding a schedule that works for both parents and for other caregivers, as well as what is in a child’s best interests, is not easy. After mediation, the court will create a parenting program for the parents. In this case, your lawyer will represent your position alongside the opposing parents.
A lawyer may have to spend many more hours preparing for court, filing documents, going through investigations, and arguing for you in court if there are disputed details of the parenting plan.
Should I Hire a Greenville Child Custody Lawyer?
You may also be able to negotiate with the other parent in order to avoid any misunderstandings. With the help of an experienced Greenville family lawyer, winning custody can be relatively easy. Child custody lawyers can explain your rights and options, prepare your petition for custody, and represent you in court.