Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina: What Are the Costs?
One of the hardest things about getting separated or divorced is dealing with child custody. In most cases that a child custody lawyer in Charlotte handles, the parents are fighting tooth and nail over their visitation schedule or custody arrangement. What they don’t realize is that the people hurt most by this sort of behavior are the children.
The family court judges care about one thing and one thing only – the best interests of the children. If they find out that two parents are fighting about custody, they won’t be happy. The best way to approach this is to retain the services of experienced Charlotte child custody lawyers. They can negotiate with your ex’s lawyer to come up with a child custody plan that works for everyone.
One thing that worries parents when it comes to child custody cases is how expensive they can be. A child custody lawyer in Charlotte does not handle these types of cases for free. You’ll have to pay an hourly rate for any work your attorney does. Here, we’ll discuss how expensive these cases can be. We’ll also highlight the reasons why hiring a child custody lawyer in Charlotte is worth every single penny!
A Child Custody Lawyer in Charlotte Does Not Work on a Contingency Basis
Because some of our attorneys handle personal injury cases, people assume we handle divorce and custody issues on a contingency basis. Sadly, this is not the case. Since there is no financial reward upon the completion of your divorce, there would be nothing to take a contingency from.
The way child custody cases are handled is using an hourly rate. When you first retain your child custody lawyer in Charlotte, they’ll ask you for a retainer. This is a lump sum that you pay your attorney when you first ask them to represent you.
Your retainer is used to pay any up-front costs that are incurred during your case. For example, if your child custody lawyer in Charlotte plans on filing a motion to change custody, it costs money. The courts charge various filing fees for any legal papers you want to file.
Your attorney will also use this retainer to cover things like postage, copies, and delivery fees. Since you’re required in North Carolina to serve your ex-spouse personally, your lawyer may want to rely on a delivery service to handle it.
You’ll Have to Pay for the Time Your Charlotte Child Custody Lawyer Spends in Court
There are all sorts of things that can make your child custody case more expensive. If you and your spouse already have a child custody plan in mind, all your lawyer will need to do is draft it and have both parties sign it. Something like this is going to cost a lot less than filing motions or going to trial.
If your child custody lawyer in Charlotte needs to go to court on your behalf, you’ll be charged an hourly rate for this appearance. Imagine your attorney files a modification of custody motion. It’s scheduled for a Monday at 9:00 am. Your attorney leaves the house at 8 am and ends up waiting in the courtroom for 3 hours. By the time they get back to the office, it’s close to 2 pm.
Clients are charged for these court appearances by adding up the time in court as well as the travel time. Some of our clients get frustrated if we end up sitting in court for hours waiting for the judge. However, our associates are at the mercy of the courts and the judges. There’s not much they can do to speed things up.
The Total Cost of Your Child Custody Case Depends on Several Factors
Aside from filing fees, there are other things that can impact the cost of your representation. Obviously, the less time your child custody lawyer in Charlotte has to spend on your case, the less it will cost. However, there are other factors that affect how much your case will cost. Some of these include:
- Whether you and your ex are on amicable terms
- Whether your attorney has to draft a new custody agreement or not
- You may have to file a motion which can increase the costs of your case
- Do you have to pay out-of-pocket expenses for copies, postage, etc.?
- Do you and your ex have to go to mediation?
All of these things can affect whether you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for your child custody matter. Since each case is different, it’s hard to say ahead of time how much it’ll cost. However, your Charlotte child custody lawyer’s goal is to get you the best outcome possible. It is not wise to handicap them with a cost limit.
Is It Worth Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer in Charlotte?
One of the first questions our clients ask us is how much it’ll cost to hire one of our family lawyers in Charlotte. The truth is that every case is different. Some people may be close to a settlement when they finally decide to hire our firm. Others are just starting to figure out what they need to do in the way of child custody.
The good news is that we can help you regardless of what stage of the process you may be in. We do not overcharge our clients. While we do need to be paid for our time, our ultimate goal is to help our clients. The last thing any child custody lawyer in Charlotte would want to do is waste clients’ money.
There are several benefits to hiring a child custody lawyer in Charlotte to handle your custody case. Some of these include:
- If your ex has a lawyer, you don’t want to be at a disadvantage
- The family courts in North Carolina have strict filing fees and rules. You won’t have to worry about missing these deadlines if you have an attorney.
- Your lawyer can negotiate a custody arrangement with your ex’s lawyer.
- Your attorney will stand up for you in family court if need be.
Dealing with any sort of family law matter can be scary. There is so much at stake, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. One way to avoid having this happen is to retain a skilled Charlotte child custody lawyer right away.