Divorce is hard on everyone involved, but women can be at a special disadvantage. Many wives hold back in pursuing their own careers to support a spouse, leaving them with a harder struggle to move forward after divorce. It’s also common for men to feel a sense of authority and power and try to assert this against their wives in a divorce. If children are involved, it’s especially crucial to seek out a custody lawyer for women.
Four Reasons to Choose an Experienced Chicago Family Attorney and Custody Lawyer for Women
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Filing Is Complicated
If you and your spouse aren’t able to come to an amicable arrangement for who will have the children (physical custody) and when, or about how you will make decisions for them (legal custody), you will need to file for a custody arrangement. Your husband may also do so, and the situation can quickly grow complicated. Possibly arrangements include a shared custody arrangement, an arrangement where the spouses share physical custody but only one has legal custody or an order that gives only one spouse both physical and legal custody.
To succeed in getting custody, or to prevent your ex-husband from taking the children from you, you need to build a strong case. You’ll need to prove that you know the children well. You’ll need to show you have a stable living situation, a way to provide for the children, a plan for their care and education, and a support network.
You may also need to show that your husband is unfit by proving abuse, drug dependency, criminal behavior, or neglect. All this requires a lot of documentation, and it’s easy to accidentally leave something out. Custody lawyers for women in Columbus, OH will not forget any detail and will help you build a winning case.
Custody Can Get Nasty
It’s very common for couples to start their divorce proceedings relatively amicably. The thought of ending an unhappy relationship is liberating, and everyone is anxious to just put it all behind them. But once you get into the nitty-gritty details of hammering out arrangements, things can and do turn ugly quickly. You may see a side of your husband that you weren’t even fully aware was there, and it’s not uncommon for husbands to use the children as leverage to force wives to give them what they want in a divorce.
Your attorney provides valuable help in this situation, and in more than one way. For one thing, your attorney knows the law and can show you where your husband’s threats have no teeth, prepare an effective counter to his demands, and even show you how to use threats and demands against him.
For another, a lawyer is a third party who isn’t affected by the emotions of the moment. Both fathers and mothers can become so emotionally distraught at the thought of losing custody that they stop making smart decisions: your attorney is there to protect you in those moments.
Your Agreement Needs to Pass With the Judge
It’s true that you and your husband can determine custody arrangements yourselves. If you can agree on who will take the kids and when and who will make decisions for them, the courts consider this a good thing. However, whatever arrangement you make still needs a court order to be official. This means a judge will look over your arrangement, talk to you, your husband, and possibly also the children, and declare it reasonable or unacceptable.
If the judge doesn’t approve the arrangement, things can quickly turn nasty (see the previous point!) as you go back to the drawing board to hammer out the details. Everything will go much more smoothly if you have a skilled custody attorney on your side. Your attorney will show you where there may be holes in your arrangement that a judge will ask about, help you craft the language of your arrangement in a way the judge is likely to accept and let you know if you need to make changes to enhance your chances of approval.
Nothing Is More Important Than Your Children
Finally, you need an experienced custody attorney because your children are just that important. If your child starts running a high fever and it doesn’t resolve fairly quickly, you would never just keep trying to fix it on your own. You would take her to a qualified doctor because her happiness, future, and life are just that important. In a custody battle, the situation is similar.
You may know very well that you are the best parent to care for the children, but the courts can’t know that unless you prove it to them. The last thing you want to do is risk losing custody not because your husband is a better parent, but simply because your husband got a better lawyer.
A qualified attorney will work to protect your rights and has the experience you need to get what’s best for your children. Custody can be complicated and messy, and an experienced professional is your best bet for getting through it all successfully.