As a family lawyer in Newport News and working in courts throughout the Virginia Peninsula, I receive phone calls from people asking whether they need to hire a family lawyer for their situation. It might be a divorce or custody problem, or any number of other issues that arise within families, such as step-parent adoptions or conflicts about child support. Child custody issues can be particularly difficult for families, especially when the custody conflict crosses state lines. The truth is, while you can attempt to resolve some of these issues without a lawyer, the result might be much more costly than doing it right the first time.
Do I need a Family Lawyer?
A common misconception of those who try to represent themselves is that if they can just get in front of a judge and explain everything, then the judge will surely fix it for them. This expectation is wrong. A judge only has the power to make specific changes that you petition for correctly. He or she cannot simply hear the whole story of your relationships and then make a bunch of changes to custody, support, or other orders, even if the judge believes you are in the right. In other words, proper procedure matters to getting your family law case resolved. If you have to appeal your family law case from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to the Circuit Court, matters get even more complicated and a family lawyer is essential.
Another common problem is family law clients who have attempted to “do it themselves” or have hired an online uncontested divorce firm to do an uncontested divorce online or by mail. These clients call because something has gone wrong, and they had no one to help fix it. Sometimes their property was not properly accounted for in the separation agreement, sometimes one party has not followed the agreement, sometimes the divorce becomes contested, or countless other reasons. An experienced family law attorney usually can sort out and fix these problems, but it is often much more expensive than if you had hired that attorney to start with. Sometimes the cheap route just comes out more expensive in the end.
How Much Does A Family Lawyer Cost?
It’s true. Good family lawyers do charge for their services. And clients who want the least hassle and best outcome depending on the facts of their situation know that your lawyer matters and are willing to pay for excellent and dedicated representation. From our offices in Newport News, we serve all of the Virginia Peninsula on child custody, divorce, support, and adoption issues. Contact me for a consultation on your case.