Are High Conflict Custody Battles Expensive in Orange County, CA?
Will a high conflict child custody case be expensive in Orange County CA? Your family situation is unique. Your children have different needs from those of another family, and your children’s needs will change as they grow up. Some custody battles, can be simple, worked out through mediation, or perhaps without the assistance of a professional. However, high conflict custody battles can be stressful, time consuming, and potentially, costly.
What Constitutes a High Conflict Custody Case in Southern California?
A high conflict custody battle can involve either high conflict people, or a high conflict issue relating to custody.
A high conflict person in a custody battle is usually a parent who chooses to attempt resolving conflicts through certain tactics, such as physical coercion, verbal aggression, or threats.
High conflict issues relating to child custody could include domestic violence in the home, child abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, substance abuse, or mental illness.
If your family situation includes any of these issues or a high conflict person, it is critical you consult a skilled family lawyer in the OC to help protect your children. A lawyer will be able to use the law and help you obtain any necessary protective orders, financial support, or a safe place to stay throughout the duration of your custody battle.
Costs Incurred in a Child Custody Battle in the OC
In a custody case, the main costs incurred involve hiring a child custody attorney. There are also costs related to the court, including filing fees. In some custody cases, experts are called in, or attorneys are hired to represent the children, which may also add to the cost of a child custody battle in Orange County.
How Can a Child Custody Attorney Help?
When parents are battling over a child custody agreement, especially in a high conflict custody battle, an attorney is often the best solution to resolving their issues. Common issues attorneys can help with include the following.
Sole physical custody or joint physical custody? The parents may be arguing over where the child will live for the majority of the time: with both parents, or just with one.
Sole legal custody or joint legal custody? Parents often argue over who can make decisions regarding the child’s life. Decisions regarding the child include the child’s education, religion, health care choices, and decisions regarding the child’s extracurricular activities.
Visitation schedules. If one parent does not want the child to spend time with the other, or if one parent wants more time with the child, this can be an issue.
Other common issues that may arise include living arrangements, future modifications of a custody agreement, accusations of violence, abuse, neglect or substance abuse, and managing contact with other relatives or friends.
The Cost of a Child Custody Lawyer in the OC
Depending on the attorney you choose to work with, your attorney fee structure can vary. Many lawyers offer a free initial consultation, which may involve anything from a simple explanation of attorney fees to a thorough evaluation of your case and a general overview of what to expect throughout the process.
Most child custody lawyers charge a retainer up front. The amount can vary, and you will need to discuss your case with an attorney in a consultation in order to get a price. Make sure to discuss whether the retainer is refundable or not. Some attorneys will refund the amount left over in the retainer at the conclusion of your case, some will not.
In addition to charging for hourly legal services, your lawyer may charge you for office work, paralegal services, travel expenses, court filing fees, court reporter fees, expert witness fees or other miscellaneous items that are related to your case.
On average, a family lawyer around Orange County will charge between $100 and $500 per hour. Hourly rates may vary based on the attorney’s credentials, the specifics of your case, and your location.
While a straightforward custody case will usually cost no more than $5,000 in custody attorney fees, a high conflict child custody battle that goes to trial, requires highly skilled attorneys or child custody experts. This type of case can be long and drawn out costing up to $40,000 or more in attorney fees alone.
How to Keep the Cost of a California Child Custody Lawyer Low
The best way to keep the cost of your child custody lawyer low is to stay organized and work with your attorney.
As soon as possible, start keeping a journal. The more information and accurate records you can provide for your attorney, the better your chances of the outcome you want in your child custody case.
Whether you are going through a divorce, you or your child’s other parent was recently introduced to the child, or you’re entering a custody dispute for another reason, track the following as accurately as possible.
• How much time you spend with your child;
• How much time the other parent spends with the child;
• A list of the activities you and your child are both involved in;
• A record of the times the other parent is not at home, whether they are at work or out of town;
• A record of any negative characteristics or aspects of the other parent that could affect custody, including substance abuse, threats, negative remarks, profanities, shouting, arguments, or violence.
Your lawyer will probably ask you to write down a record of the past six months, as best as you can, including everything you and the other parent have done that could affect the custody case. You will need to show the court you are an active parent, you are involved in the child’s life, and placing the child in your custody is in the best interest of the child.
Any evidence that it is not in the best interest of the child to be in the custody of the other parent is also pertinent to your case.
When parents are battling over a child custody agreement, an attorney is often the best solution to resolving their issues.
Will a high conflict child custody case be expensive? Contact an Orange County Child Custody Attorney to review your case
If you’re facing a high conflict custody battle, contact the attorneys at Yanez & Associates today. Our team of compassionate lawyers is here to help you and your family through a stressful time. Get a hold of us today for a free initial consultation.
Table of Contents
- 1 Are High Conflict Custody Battles Expensive in Orange County, CA?
- 2 What Constitutes a High Conflict Custody Case in Southern California?
- 3 Costs Incurred in a Child Custody Battle in the OC
- 4 The Cost of a Child Custody Lawyer in the OC
- 5 Will a high conflict child custody case be expensive? Contact an Orange County Child Custody Attorney to review your case