Under South Carolina Law, the number one factor courts consider in determining a child custody award is the “best interests of the children”. While the law has moved toward favoring shared parenting relationships, with each parent having the children half of the time, many times other factors lend themselves to quite different determinations. With terms such as “joint custody” and “sole custody” this is a very complicated and confusing part of the law, which requires a great deal of advice from competent counsel – the best custody attorney Hilton Head has to represent you.
It is imperative for the well being of children that parents engaged in a custodial dispute not attempt to utilize the children as pawns in the battle between the parents. We pride ourselves on being there to always help our clients avoid such pitfalls and thereby protect children from the unfortunate consequences of a marital dissolution/custody battle. Custody fights are extremely expensive and can have far-reaching consequences on a couple’s children such that they should not be entered into lightly, but only when necessary to affect the best interests of the children.
Why choose Berl Law as your custody attorney?
1. Attentive Service
We value our clients above all and strive to offer world-class services at a reasonable price. We are attentive to your legal requirements and spend extensive time researching your issue. Our goal is to provide personalized services and impactful solutions for your legal issues. We treat each client’s problem as unique and offer tailor-made solutions.
2. We are competent
Our team consists of some of the most experienced and educated attorneys in the country. We are extremely competent at our jobs and possess a thorough understanding of the legal framework in the state. We are knowledgeable about child custody issues. We have represented clients at both simple and complex custody cases over the years.
3. Years of Experience
We have over 20 years of proven experience in handling child custody battles in court. We have worked on simple as well as complex cases and always delivered results. Our diverse experience and vast knowledge about child custody issues are unmatched. We can help with formalizing child custody agreements and offer advice on other common issues.
4. Litigation Expertise
Our team of expert lawyers is happy to represent you in court for matters involving litigation. We exhibit complete sensitivity and professionalism while dealing with cases involving child custody. We help easily explain complex court processes and are constantly in touch to provide updates. We also notify you about key case milestones.
5. Honesty is our motto
Our firm is founded on the pillars of honesty, trust, and ethics. We always put you and your family’s best interests first. We explain your legal rights clearly and offer possible solutions to win your case. We advise you about possible roadblocks in the case and are always transparent about our pricing and legal fees.
6. Solid understanding of your needs
We approach every case with a fresh outlook and our vast knowledge and experience. We have detailed conversations with you to get details about your current issues and your desired outcome. We formulate a legal plan, especially for you, to address your issues. We can offer help with mediation or represent you in a trial.
7. Vast Knowledge
Our team has studied the legal framework up close and possess vast amounts of knowledge about its inner working. We have worked on cases of varying complexity. We have a deep understanding of the key factors that influence the outcome of a case. We advise you on the best legal course for a positive outcome.
8. We love challenges
New challenges excite us, and we are always prepared to face them and deliver results. We can advise on a wide range of complex issues. These include child support, spousal support, and custody of the child. Our expertise makes it easy for you to wade through the legal system effortlessly while remaining stress-free.
4 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Custody Attorney on Hilton Head
1. Ask the correct questions
You should go prepared with a checklist when you meet a prospective child custody attorney for the first time. This checklist must include questions about legal fees, case duration, and documentation requirements. Ask questions about the legal strategy they will adopt to fight your custody battle. Find out about previous cases and ask for references.
2. Do research
Spend plenty of time doing your research instead of choosing a lawyer based on a recommendation. Your research should focus on key indicators such as success rate, education, reviews, pricing, and experience. You must cross verify any references shared and check the local attorney directories to make sure that the lawyer has a license to operate.
3. Area of specialization
The attorney you choose must demonstrate experience and specialization in child custody cases. Look for an attorney who has a high success rate and has a good reputation dealing with child custody cases. The attorney must be knowledgeable about the legal framework and must be capable of handling any complexity that may arise in the case.
4. Level of comfort
The attorney you choose must share an amiable but professional relationship with you. You should feel comfortable discussing your custody issues freely without feeling inhibited. Choose an attorney who radiates comfort and puts you at ease even while discussing sensitive subjects. They should always have your family’s best interests at heart.
FAQs on Custody Attorney Hilton Head
Q1. What’s the difference between shared custody and sole custody?
The primary difference between shared and sole custody is the physical custody of the child. In shared custody, the partners share decision making responsibilities involving education or religion. It may or may not involve physical custody. In a sole custody scenario, the physical custody of the child remains with one partner only. This partner bears responsibility for all major decisions involving education or religion.
Q2. How does a Hilton Head court judge decide who gets custody of the children?
There are several factors a judge analyzes keenly before choosing the partner who will have custody of the child. A few of these include the home environment, financial stability, and age of the child. Behavioral factors also play a crucial role in determining who has custody. These factors can include issues such as alcohol abuse, domestic violence, any previous felonies which led to an arrest.
Q3. What are the types of child custody on Hilton Head?
There are different types of child custody in Hilton Head. A few common types are physical custody, where the child lives with one parent. It could be legal custody where one partner is responsible for decisions concerning education or health. Joint custody is nothing but a scenario where both partners share equal responsibilities. Or, temporary custody where the child stays with one parent until the court decides. A Custody Attorney Hilton Head trusts can assist you through this complicated process.
Q4. What is meant by “Best Interests of the Child?”
‘Best interests of the child’ is a phrase used to describe various physical, mental, and environmental factors that aid in the child’s growth. The courts always prefer that the child maintains adequate contact with both the parents. The intent is to let the child have as much a normal upbringing as possible without disrupting daily routines. A divorce must not psychologically affect the child’s development.
Q5. How to prepare for the Evaluation of Child Custody?
When you prepare for a child custody evaluation, always have the child’s love and well-being at the center. You want the evaluator to notice your love and care for your child and their reciprocation towards it. Always maintain hygiene and cleanliness around the house. Be well-groomed for the interviews and speak as naturally as you can while answering the evaluator’s questions.
7 Signs It’s Time to Consider Hiring a Custody Lawyer
Divorces are messy at times, and it becomes messier when children enter the equation. When both parents fight for the custody of children, the crisis worsens. In this situation, if you lack legal aid, your partner can easily turn the table on you. And getting defeated can mean staying away from your children forever. Why risk that? Hire a custody attorney if you see any of these signs. Get your case represented properly and secure the best future for your little ones.
1. Your children’s safety is at risk
You know that your partner is an alcoholic, which is the main reason behind filing for a divorce. However, your partner is taking all steps possible to get custody of your children. You know that your child’s safety is at risk in your spouse’s company.
Come what may do, not sit quietly. You never know; a delay of a few minutes can help your partner build a strong case. Hire a child custody attorney and let them help you keep your child safe. In Hilton Head, experienced attorneys in Berl Law are always ready to give sane counsel and grit. They hear you out and understand your concerns. If needed, they would recommend you get a restraining order against your partner.
2. Your partner has already taken legal help
At the time of parting ways, you and your partner have agreed to share your children’s custody. But when the case begins, you find out that your spouse is consulting a private custody attorney. Now, she wants full custody of your children. Well, betrayal it is, but instead of getting into an argument with him/her, take legal help. When you hire a child custody attorney, they guide you to fight the case. You can represent yourself, but an attorney negotiates the legal quagmire better.
It should not be the case that your partner gets your kids’ custody because you did not hire an attorney.
3. Visiting your children is no longer simple
- Is your former partner not allowing you to meet your children?
- Is he/she whimsically canceling scheduled meetings?
- Is he/she employing tactics to limit the time you spend with your children?
If you are facing any of these situations, it is time to hire a child custody attorney. Do you know that no parent can keep a child away from the other until a court passes an order? Such tactics cannot survive the scrutiny of the law. Let a Berl Law attorney properly represent your case and protect your right. In Hilton Head, this firm’s attorneys are well known for getting the best deal for their clients.
Without help, you may end up having endless arguments without any favorable outcome. Hence, the sooner you act, the better you can fight back.
4. Complications start cropping up suddenly
Divorce often leaves a nasty impression on children. More often than not when they find their parents fighting or accusing each other. Hence, you decided to protect your child from any trauma and end the relation amicably. Things were moving smoothly, but soon your spouse started going behind your back. Your partner is no longer respecting the mutual decision of shared custody. He/she is preparing a case to convince the court that you are incapable of keeping your children safe. With such complications hitting you, it becomes essential that you safeguard yourself. Unless you could refute all the allegations, getting your child could be difficult. Hire a child attorney and let them protect your rights and your children’s.
5. You need to participate in certain classes
The court may direct you to attend some classes. They may vary from parenting to alcohol rehabilitation. This is not a good sign. You perhaps do not have a high chance of getting your child’s custody. In this situation, representing yourself is not a wise idea. You need someone who has the expertise to turn the tide in your favor. Get yourself a child custody attorney and explain your situation. Remember to be honest with them. One lie can become a stepping stone for your partner to get your child’s full custody.
In a few jurisdictions, it may be mandatory for couples getting a divorce to attend such classes. If that is the case in Hilton Head, such a direction will not weaken your case.
6. Jurisdiction becomes an issue
Cases involving international boundaries particularly can have an impact on child custody. A professional will, however, have full knowledge of the laws and legal barriers. They will know how to navigate through them to bring you a favorable result.
So, whenever you find that your partner is moving out of state with your children or has already moved out, get help. Remember, the physical distance can complicate visitation. Only a qualified custody lawyer can simplify the matter for you. Besides, you can also keep yourself updated on the various laws that will affect the case. There is no harm in acquiring knowledge, especially if it helps you to stay with your kids.
7. Special circumstances
Several factors can change the circumstances of the case. Some of them are
- You have a disabled child who needs care for life long
- Your partner is relocating to another state or country
- Your partner is planning to remarry after the divorce
- Your partner is moving in with someone
- Your partner has criminal charges pending against him/her
- Your partner has relapsed to former drug abuse
If any of these situations arise, your case needs special attention. In case your partner relocates or remarries, it may affect visitation. You may not be able to see them or be with them at the time of need. Let an experienced custody attorney represent you. They are the best asset you can have at such a moment. The attorney knows how to make the best move to let you have your children.
Tips to Find the Best Custody Attorney
1. Research About Child Custody Laws and Terms
Researching about child custody in general and specific laws can be beneficial. Laws vary from state to state. It helps to have a firm understanding of the legal terms and key clauses before you find a lawyer.
Learn about how parenting works after custody. This includes any child support and time-sharing between parents.
The court may choose to grant equal rights to both parents. It could also favor one parent over the other depending upon circumstances. This could be job stability, previous felonies, or any medical conditions.
You can look up the internet for frequently asked questions. YouTube videos are a great resource to learn about child custody laws and processes quickly. Search legal forums for other people’s experiences and common challenges.
It helps to have a clear understanding of the law. It makes it easy to grasp any legal strategies suggested by a lawyer. It helps you make a well-informed decision.
2. Seek Referrals from Various Sources
Narrowing down to the best custody attorney is not easy. A simple online search would bring up dozens of names in your local area.
How do you choose the best among them? You ask around.
Seek references and inputs from as many people as possible. This circle may include friends, family, or work acquaintances. People who have faced a similar situation can provide more reliable feedback about a certain law firm or attorney.
It also pays to enquire at the local courts or the state bar for recommendations. They will often recommend firms or lawyers with good standing in the local courts. Look for pointers that speak highly about the person’s experience, knowledge, and reputation.
Berl Law in Hilton Head has an unblemished reputation that comes from years of experience in custody law. Contact us today for a free consultation.
3. Interview More Than One Attorney
The process of finding the right attorney can be stressful. You may be emotionally strung out or feeling low owing to the situation. Don’t let these factors deter you from doing your due diligence.
Gather up a list of potential lawyers in your area. Our firm is one of the most respected in the Hilton Head area. Meet more than one lawyer to get a general pulse of the process involved in the trial.
Avoid picking the first lawyer you meet. This is unwise.
Look for the following things in a lawyer before you decide to hire them:
- Is the person approachable make you feel comfortable discussing private matters?
- Do they have experience in handling a case that is similar to yours? Every child custody case has its unique characteristics.
A resounding yes to the above is a good bet that you have found the right lawyer to represent you.
4. Be Prepared to Ask and Answer Questions
Your first interview with a potential lawyer must be thorough. Be prepared to ask and answer questions. Prepare a list of questions to ask your lawyer based on your research.
A few common ones could include:
- How many years of experience do you have?
- How long will my trial take?
- Are there any complications you see in my case?
- Have you worked on a similar case in the past?
- How much will it cost? Any unforeseen expenses?
- How will I be updated on my case progress?
- How often will I need to visit the court?
These sample questions help you get a clear idea of what the next stage of your trial may entail.
The lawyer, in turn, may quiz you about:
- Birth certificates and court orders
- Reason for the decision
- Financial standing
- Previous felonies or arrests
Be prepared with as much data as possible to help with your custody case.
5. Ask for Pricing and Brochures
Hiring a custody attorney can be an expensive affair. Be sure to get down to the details when discussing pricing.
You may incur many expenses that your attorney may not mention at the outset.
Ask the attorney to explain the breakdown of the pricing. Some Hilton Head area firms charge a flat fee for a custody case, while others may bill as per court expenses and a monthly retainer.
Choose lawyers or firms who are flexible with payments and do not expect the whole amount upfront. It is less financially burdensome if you can make the payment in parts.
Ask the lawyer for any informational booklets or brochures. Going over this literature will give you a clear picture of the firm’s practices and payment terms.
Berls Law is the most trusted law firms in the Hilton Head area. Contact us at (843) 689-5771 today for a free consultation.
6. Specialization in Child Custody Law is Vital
Family law is one of the specialized fields in the annals of law. Hiring a law firm that deals with general law and the occasional family law case just won’t cut it.
You must find a firm or lawyer who has extensive knowledge and experience in child custody cases.
When searching, look for lawyers who explicitly mention family or child custody law as their specialties. It helps to hire someone with a deep knowledge of one field. They have probably worked on dozens of such cases in the past.
Their experience in handling such sensitive cases will prove to be an asset. They will be familiar with the complications that may arise in such cases and advise on the best ways to tackle them.
Ask them about the steps they will take to resolve your case to evaluate if they are the best fit for you.
7. Choose Someone Local
It is prudent to choose a local lawyer for child custody cases.
Child custody cases involve many visits to the lawyer or the court. It makes it convenient if the lawyer is located close to where you live. It also helps you easily verify their reputation in the area.
A lawyer who is accessible when in need can be of great help. It is often helpful to walk into a law firm office and have a face-to-face conversation.
The other benefit of hiring local lawyers is their familiarity with the local courts’ staff and judges. A good reputation with local courts surely helps your case in the long run.
Choose Berl Law for a legal partner you can trust in the Hilton Head area. James F. Berl is one of the most experienced children custody attorneys in the region.