The lawyer for a child custody case should not be a child’s best friend, but it should at least have a solid grasp on the facts of the case, according to a new research report.
“When dealing with child custody cases, the lawyer’s job is to try to understand the child and make sure that the child is safe and protected,” said David Lebowitz, an associate professor of law at the University of California, Irvine.
The report, called “How to Find the Best Lawyer for Your Child Custody Dispute,” recommends that parents seek an attorney with experience in child custody matters, preferably someone who has worked with the child’s parent or guardians, rather than the court, and is familiar with the family court system.
In order to protect children from abuse, parents should also be able to trust their lawyers, said Lebowitt, who is also a fellow with the American Bar Association.
If the child has been harmed, Lebowitzer said the child should be able get an accurate statement about the circumstances of the harm.
It should also not be the case that the lawyer has all the answers and knows everything, said Michael Vartan, a former attorney for the U.S. Supreme Court.
As a general rule, it is better to have someone who knows the law and is willing to tell you what the law is, Vartans former law partner at Vart & Co. said in a statement.
This should be a conversation to have with your attorney, said the statement.
The authors of the study said parents should be wary of lawyers who specialize in divorce and child custody, or who specialize solely in child support matters.
According to the study, lawyers are less likely to get a favorable outcome in child-custody cases than they are in other types of cases.
In addition, the report said that the more lawyers a child has, the more likely it is that the court will find the child in favor of the parents.
The study also suggests that it is more important to have a reliable lawyer than to hire a lawyer with experience working with children, or even to have an experienced lawyer with no experience in any of the other types.
Parents should also look for a lawyer who is willing and able to make sure the child knows what’s in the child custody agreement.
A good attorney can help parents to make an informed decision about what’s best for the child, said Vartanes former partner, who did not want to be named.
Some attorneys can be helpful, but you should also keep in mind that these lawyers have their own opinions, he said.
“I know that they have opinions, but the truth is they are not all going to agree with each other,” said Vardan.
“That’s not going to stop you from doing your own research.”
The study was published in the Journal of Law, Family & Marital Therapy.