Child custody is one of the most emotionally charged aspects of divorce. In fact, child custody fights or determination can easily spiral out of control, financially speaking, if you aren't careful. Here are a few tips to ensure your child custody battle doesn't exhaust your finances.
Your Partner Is Uncooperative
Child custody determination in family law can occur in many different ways. You can sit down with your partner and agree on a suitable custody arrangement, you can let a lawyer mediate the negotiations or you can let the court do it for you. The option you take influences how much you will end up paying for the divorce; as a general rule, the more people you involve in the issue, the more expensive it will be. If you have an uncooperative partner, then you may have to take the issue to trial, which is the most expensive route you can take.
You Need Expert Witnesses
An expert witness is a person who is judged to be knowledgeable on a subject by virtue of their training, experience or education. You may need the testimony of an expert witness to prove a point or disapprove your partner's allegations in court. Consider an example where your partner is claiming that giving you custody of the child may interfere with the child's development because they have to leave their friends behind. In such a case, you may need an expert witness to disapprove your partner's claim, and you have to pay the expert witness.
Your Child Needs a Guardian Ad Litem
A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is an independent person that the court appoints to act on behalf of a child and determine the best solutions that would benefit the child. Your child may need a GAL if you can't agree on the best solution, if one of you is suspected of abusing the child or if the court suspects you are hiding the truth. You have to pay a GAL for their services.
Your Case Is Complex
Some child custody cases are relatively standard while others tend to be pretty complex; the complex cases typically cost more money to resolve. Examples of complex cases include cases with suspected child abuse and cases with disputed paternity. Such cases take a long time to conclude and require multiple expert witnesses, which drive up the cost.
Your child custody battle should help you determine what is best for your child without consuming too many resources. A child custody lawyer can help you do just that.