Divorce and the prospect of paying alimony and child support to your ex-spouse are frightening thoughts for many men. Traditionally, many men believe that the court system seems to favor women when it comes to determining custody and visitation of children, so in addition to losing your spouse and some of your income, you may be facing denial of time with your children, or at least a significant loss of time to be an influence in their lives. Hiring a custody attorney is an important step towards regaining your rights as a father, but the process of selecting a custody attorney for a man is slightly different than if you were a woman hiring an attorney. As such, it is important to follow a man's guide in hiring a custody attorney.
Hiring a Custody Attorney
One important consideration for a man hiring a custody attorney is to see if you can find someone who believes in or is experienced in the idea of father’s rights. Basically, a father’s rights attorney is someone who has specific knowledge and training in the idea that children need both parents in their lives in order to grow up successfully and to be well-balanced. A traditional custody attorney who has some knowledge of the father’s rights idea is an excellent choice for a man seeking to obtain more time with his children and more visitation rights.
Does Gender Matter?
You may also want to give a thought to the gender of your custody attorney. In some cases, a female custody attorney may be more preferable for a male client to retain than a male custody attorney, because female attorneys are often seen as being more understanding of the importance of custody issues, and perhaps more sympathetic to the court than male attorneys. This is not to say that a male attorney is not an excellent choice, but instead it is important to note that these biases may exist, and a female custody attorney with a good track record may be helpful to represent you as a father seeking custody of his children.
You will also want to look for an attorney who has an excellent track record in custody cases. If possible, ask if the attorney has any individuals who he has represented who would be willing to act as a reference and tell you about their personal experiences with their own custody cases. Check also with the Better Business Bureau and any attorney organizations in your state, like the State Bar Association or any professional associations of attorneys, to get an idea of what the attorney’s track record is.
Finding a custody attorney doesn't have to be complicated. Asking for referrals or references from friends can be a good man's guide in hiring a custody attorney, as can contacting the bar association. Many qualified family and divorce attorneys can be found on this site, and free consultations are available by clicking the "talk to a lawyer" button. Make sure to find an attorney you are comfortable with who will act as your advocate throughout the custody process.