Whether you are going through a divorce or were never married to the other parent of your child, issues of custody may be stressful and time-consuming. For the sake of your child, you may have hoped to work things out amicably with your former partner, and in your mind, this may have meant involving no lawyers.
Many parents are able to reach a satisfactory parenting plan on their own, and this often saves the family a great deal of anxiety that may arise when going to court is necessary. However, there are times when having a legal advocate is in your best interests, especially when you have so much on the line.
How much is at stake?
If everything is going along fine in your negotiations with the other parent, you may be able to continue toward a positive parenting plan. However, there are some clear indicators that you may benefit from having the guidance of an experienced advocate who is knowledgeable in Ohio's custody laws, for example:
- Your partner seems to be changing his or her mind about the custody arrangements you have in place.
- Your former partner has accused you of being an unfit parent.
- You have been court-ordered to attend parenting classes, receive substance abuse treatment or participate in anger management therapy.
- You fear that the other parent endangers your child.
- You or your co-parent are planning on moving away from Ohio.
- You or your former partner are already living in different jurisdictions.
- Your former partner is starting to limit your time with your child, or you are seeing other evidence of parental alienation.
- You or your former partner have plans to remarry or move in with a new romantic interest.
Perhaps the most obvious reason to seek legal counsel is because the other parent has already retained a lawyer. While you may have been evenly matched when dealing only with the other parent, now that an opposing attorney is in the mix, you would benefit from having your own professional in your corner. Otherwise, it will not be out of the question for your opponent to use your inexperience in legal matters for his or her own benefit.
When you are facing matters as important as the well-being of your children, you may wish to have as many advantages as possible. In matters of custody, the right attorney may be able to provide that advantage.