Can a attorney get me custody of my daughter? How? 15 Answers as of May 04, 2015

I am trying to go through my divorce pro se but I am having problems. My 11 year old daughter wants to live with me but my husband still wants to get custody of her. We have been separated for two years and she has always lived with me. Does he have a chance of getting her? Can she choose who she wants to live with? Will I get her if I have a lawyer and he does not? How much does that usually cost?

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Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
If your daughter has always lived with you; is 11 years old and wants to live with you; there are ways to get that finalized; although your husband may make it more difficult, time consuming and expensive than it should be. Unless you are doing something wrong concerning your daughter, I can't imagine here being a change in custody.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/4/2015
Attorney at Law | Aimee C. Robbins
I don't have enough facts about the child's father to answer your question- but unless your child is doing poorly in school, etc.-you have a good chance of retaining custody IF you hire an experienced attorney which will involve a Retainer fee to the attorney usually around $3, 500.00.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/4/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
You probably should retain counsel, if only to file a petition for custody and to obtain a court order specifying the terms of custody and visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. As children get older they sometimes choose the parent with whom they wish to live or to stop visiting the non-custodial parent. When a child engages in such activity around 16 or 17 years of age the courts are hesitant to get involved because the children are near the age of majority (adults). As for the costs and attorney fees involved, much of it depends on the county in which you live and the attorney you retain. The attorney fees vary from attorney to attorney.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/4/2015
Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
When dealing with complex custody issues, it is best to consult with an attorney. There are several factors to be considered in this type of matter.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/1/2015
Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
Neither one of you "gets" the child. The child's time will be divided between both parents (unless there are reasons one parent absolutely should not have access to the child- this is very rare and involves certain criminal convictions of that parent). If a guardian ad litem is appointed, he will talk to the child and she can tell him her preferences if she has any. She does not get to make the choice at any age. The guardian ad litem will make a recommendation as to how time should be divided. Having a lawyer will certainly help you since the lawyer will know the law and know how/when to present things, negotiate etc. The cost depends on how much time it takes which varies greatly among cases.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/1/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Good questions. Private legal services are often expensive. In Madison good lawyers ask for an advance payment of $2,000 to $5,000 for a custody/placement dispute. (Some law firms, like Community Justice, Inc. offer sharply reduced fees to people who cannot pay regular fees. You might call them.) You can be confident that a lawyer very likely can help you more than you can help yourself. The question for the court is what kind of custody and placement arrangement is in the best interest of the child. That might very well be you, but no one can say so for sure at present. The court, faced with this kind of decision, refers the parents to Family Court Services (in Dane County at least) and they do mediation, and if mediation fails, they do a study. Don't be cowed by a husband who makes threats. It's hard not to but lots of insecure husbands make such threats, and very few of the threats come true. Get a good lawyer. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Generally an attorney will help keep your custody but not guarantee it.. Frankly without more facts it is impossible to say changes.. except that it is hard to change established custody Generally he has to go through many hoops and have good reasons that are in the best interests of the child to change custody.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    The chances are great that you retain custody. She must be 13 to be able to make the selection. You need a Lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    The Palme Law Firm, P.A. | Steve Palme
    1. You have custody currently and need to protect that situation. You need to commence a lawsuit for custody if you have not already. 2. The father always has the chance of getting custody of his child, although if the child has resided solely with you for the past 2 years, he would need a pretty compelling reason to disrupt that situation. He should be having some custodial time (visitation) with the child unless there is some danger of physical harm or other abuse by allowing him visitation. 3. No, 11-year-old children should never be put in a position where the child has the burden of making that choice between parents. That is for the parents to decide. 4. You won?t necessarily get custody just because you have a lawyer. It depends on the facts of each case. However, if you do have a lawyer, you will be able to get detailed answers to your questions and you will have someone who is experienced with presenting custody cases in Court. It is always better to have an attorney if you are going to be in Court. 5. The cost depends entirely on the attorney. Most attorneys in my area charge between $175 and $300 per hour for their services. Steve Palm? Please note our new address: The Palm? Law Firm, P.A. 5 W. Hargett St., Suite 507 Raleigh, NC 27601 Tel. (919) 803-4512 Fax (919) 803-4516 steve@raleighdivorcehelp.com www.raleighdivorcehelp.com Confidential - This electronic message and any attached files are confidential and are intended solely for the use of the addressee(s) named above. This communication may contain material protected by attorney-client, work product, or other privileges. If you are not the intended recipient or person responsible for delivering this confidential communication to the intended recipient(s), and/or you have received this communication in error, then any review, use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, copying, or other distribution of this email message and any attached files is strictly prohibited! If you have received this confidential communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply email message and permanently delete the original message. IRS Circular 230 Notice: To ensure compliant with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication or in any attachment herein is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any tax-related matter addressed in this communication or any attachment herein.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
    You definitely need a lawyer for a custody battle. You can get a referral from AVVO or your local bar association.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    California courts determine placement for child custody utilizing the child's best interests standard as the basis of that determination. If the child has been primarily been in your daily care throughout her life, there's a distinct possibility that this arrangement will continue but a parenting plan will have to be developed so the child would have a time share relationship with father. You should meet with an experienced family law attorney to explore you legal options and get a better idea of the cost of legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    There is always a chance the Judge will rule for the other spouse. That is why it is best to get an attorney who specializes in Family Law. From your description, it appears as if you may be ok, but it is about your daughter, so don?t hesitate and get an attorney ASAP. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    GordenLaw, LLC
    GordenLaw, LLC | Vanessa J. Gorden
    Custody is very fact -specific and very judge-specific. You need to visit with an experienced local attorney about your options. There is no magic age in Nebraska where a child can decide -but the courts do consider the children's wishes (if those wishes are based on sound reasons). Best wishes!
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    The Gufford Law Firm, P.A.
    The Gufford Law Firm, P.A. | Joseph Gufford
    Firstly, in Florida, we do not use the term "custody". You need to hire an attorney so that they can collect the evidence and present the same if need be at trial. It is unlikely that your child will be permitted to testify. It happens but only on very rare occasions. Children do not decide where they live, judges do. With regard to your Husband having majority time sharing, that depends upon the facts of the case. Men get majority times haring all the time these days. Costs vary from case to case depending upon complexity.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    Fighting a custody battle as a pro se is extremely difficult. At age 11 a child's wishes are considered but are not dis-positive when it comes to custody. How much a lawyer will cost depends upon the hourly rate that the lawyer charges and how much of a custody fight you have - obviously if you settle quickly it won't cost much.but if you fight all the way through trial the cost can range into the tens of thousands of dollars.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/1/2015
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