Tips & Advice
What are the different types of child custody?
Legal custody allows a parent to make major life decisions for a child. Sole legal custody allows one parent to make all legal decisions for a child; with joint legal custody, this responsibility is shared by both parents. Physical custody determines with which parent a child will live. With sole physical custody, a child lives with one parent, and the other parent could be granted visitation. With joint physical custody, the child usually splits time equally between parents, living with one parent for one part of the week, month or year, and spending the rest of the time with the other parent.
What does a child custody attorney do?
A child custody attorney represents a parent's interests and provides legal counsel to their clients before a case goes to trial. Once the case has been taken to court, child custody attorneys are responsible for gathering and presenting evidence designed to convince the court that their clients should gain or retain custody of their child or children.
How much does a child custody attorney cost?
Throughout the course of a custody dispute, it can cost anywhere from $3,000-$40,000 or more to retain the services of a child custody attorney. The nature of the custody dispute will also influence the total cost. If one party is uncooperative or is seeking sole custody, this can result in increased legal fees.
What is a child custody lawyer?
A child custody lawyer specializes in handling child custody cases. If parents with one or more children divorce, arrangements will have to be made regarding child custody. In these instances, a parent can hire a child custody lawyer to serve as an advocate in legal proceedings.
What type of attorney can help with child custody?
An attorney who specializes in family or custody law can help with child custody. These attorneys have the training to help clients win legal guardianship of children and/or negotiate any custody terms. When choosing a child custody lawyer, it's a good idea to seek references from friends, family members, the state bar association, and court clerks at your local court office.
Can a paralegal provide legal services independent of an attorney?
Paralegals can provide legal services independent of an attorney’s supervision – but with limitations. They can provide legal document services, information about the law, and some other limited services. But as they are not licensed law practitioners, and therefore cannot legally represent clients in (or outside of) court.
Is a paralegal the same as a legal assistant?
A legal assistant and a paralegal can perform a similar set of tasks and functions. However, paralegals are not likely to be handling any administrative duties or additional work outside the legal sphere. While their work paths may cross, a legal assistant’s time spent on a case is not billable, whereas a paralegal’s time can be and usually is billable.
Do paralegals need to be licensed or certified?
Paralegals do not need to be licensed or certified to be a paralegal. In some cases, certification is completely voluntary, at an employer’s request, or unnecessary. You do not have to have a certificate to be a working paralegal.
What kind of education is required to become a paralegal?
A paralegal has to earn a certificate or degree in legal or paralegal studies from an accredited program or institution. After earning the degree they can find on-the-job training and experience at a firm, corporation, or organization. The final step, which is usually optional, is to get certified through an accredited association.
What does a paralegal do?
A paralegal does work that typically supports attorneys, which can include legal research, document drafting, and other tasks. Paralegals might also assist attorneys in preparing for trials and hearings. All legal-based work done by the paralegal is the responsibility of the supervising attorney. While paralegals can provide basic legal services, they are not licensed attorneys and cannot represent clients in court.