It is important to find an attorney that is not only a good fit but one who knows what they are doing. Child support payments are a crucial matter and it is important that you have a lawyer by your side to help represent your interest. Before you decide on who to represent your case in Superior Court you should have a number of reasonable questions to ask a child support lawyer so you can arrive at a reasonable conclusion.
Asking a lawyer questions will help prepare understand what you can expect from them and the proceedings. You may be wondering about the kind of questions to ask a child support lawyer. Parents have a hard time understanding all the laws concerning child support and how it should be paid on their own. Also, it is possible for them to agree on all issues concerning their divorce but have a hard time agreeing on issues regarding their minors. This is because they have different ideas on how different they should take care of their children.
So you are able to remain in control of the situation it is important that you get accurate information. The questions that you ask your attorney in order for you to get information can help you prepare for the case and get a good outcome. Here are some questions that you should consider asking your Colorado Springs family law attorney.
Find Out About How the Attorney Will Be an Asset to Your Case
Before you proceed to explain and understand the details about your case you want to find out the kind of lawyer that you are working with. A qualified child support attorney will provide resources for families seeking answers. Here are some of the questions that you should pose to the lawyer so you can find out if they are the right fit for your case.
How Do You work with Clients?
Understand what the work ethics of the lawyer with their client is. Ask them if they will present you with a list of options and allow you to make the final decision or will they be bent on telling you what to do. A good lawyer will listen to their clients and give them suggestions on the different approaches that they can take depending on their situation. They can advise their client on the best approach to take but the final decision will lie on their client. However, a good lawyer does not impose a decision on their clients even if they feel that it is the best decision.
Ask about Their Personality and Style as an Attorney
It is important that you hire an attorney that you can be able to work with. A child support hearing may not end in the next few days or weeks and it is important for you to choose an attorney that you can be able to work with. Also, you want to find an attorney who is aggressive but not one who is always looking to rush into court because it will benefit them in the long run. You want to work with an attorney who has your best interest and the best interest of your children at heart.
What is their Approach and Philosophy in Handling Child Custody Cases?
Most of the time a child custody case will be linked to a child support case. You need to know the kind of lawyer you are talking to. Is their approach to child custody cases to aggravate the situation just so you can end up going to trial and they can end up getting paid more? You want to be careful with this kind of lawyer. You should look for a lawyer who is more focused on getting results on your case. You most of the expenses covered. Here are some of the allowable expenses and additional expenses that cater to the child’s developmental process:
- Daycare expenses/ child care cost
- Dental expenses
- School expenses
- Clothing Expenses
- Boys college expenses as well as girls
- Daily expenses
- Additional allowance money
- Auto insurance for if a child is16 years old
- Child medical expenses if they have an underlying condition
- Health insurance
Getting referrals from the lawyer will help you have other people who can give you testimonials of how the lawyer handled their case. Also, visit a child support arena or group online and find out other parent’s views in their discussions.
How Many Child Support Cases Do They Handle Annually?
If you want the best child custody lawyer in Colorado that is experienced in the courtroom it is important for you to evaluate how good the lawyer is by looking at their track record of child custody and support issues. Ask about their previous cases and find out how long ago the last case was even as you ask about the outcome of the case. A lawyer who has handled several child custody and support- cases in a year shows that they are trustworthy and that individuals often come to them because they are able to deliver on results.
How Frequently Do You Handle Cases Similar to Mine?
Each case is different and needs specialized attention. If you are a militant family or there are other issues surrounding your case that you feel need to be specifically addressed it is important to ask. It is not enough for an attorney to have experienced being in the courtroom you should as well consider if they specialize in handling cases that are similar to yours.
How Much Do You Charge? What Is Your Payment Plan?
Even though the amount of money a lawyer charges should not be the first thing you put on your list when you want to hire a good lawyer. Even if a lawyer is the best and they are above your pay scale they may not be the best fit for you. Different lawyers will use different payment plans. There are lawyers who charge on a per-hourly basis, some will prefer a retainer. It is important to ask for the payment plan and to find out about a lawyer’s fees and any additional money you might be charged so you can make the best decision.
Their Experience with Mediation in Child Custody Cases
If you do decide to go for mediation before your divorce agreement to discuss issues pertaining to child custody and support cases you want a lawyer that is well versed with mediation. Find out how many of their cases went into mediation and what the outcomes were after the divorce agreement was finalized. When you are in mediation as a legal parent for a custody agreement having a lawyer guide or represent you will help you get better results.
How Regularly Will You Get Updates About Your Case?
This question will help you understand if a lawyer regularly keeps in touch with their clients and the kind of professional relationship you will have. You don’t want to hire a lawyer that will not willingly provide information or one who you cannot reach easily when you need answers to your questions. There are times that you will call a lawyer and find that they are busy. Even so, most professional lawyers will always get back to you. It is important for there to be open communication where the lawyer is direct and communicates honesty with you concerning your child support petition.
Ask Questions about Your Case
Asking a lawyer questions about your settlement for a child support case will help you get answers and also you will be able to understand what the lawyer knows about child support laws. It is important for you to make an informed decision. An experienced attorney can provide resources for families needing answers about custodial rights, visitation rights, and child support. Here are some of the child custody questions that you can ask a lawyer about child support issues.
How Is Child Support Decided?
In most cases during a child support hearing, several factors will be put into consideration before major decisions are made. Things like how many minor children the couple has, the child custody laws, how much each couple earns every month, the parent that has sole custody or full legal custody over the minor children are among the main factors that will be considered during a child support determination case. However, in other instances, the needs of the child will be put into consideration and will primarily determine the child support obligation of the non-custodial parent.
In Colorado, a mathematical formula known as the child support guideline is used to calculate how child support a non-custodial parent will pay to the parent that has sole custody. The child support calculator considers the gross income of each parent and how much time they spend with their kids. The gross income is inclusive of the salary, income from other sources, tips as well as overtime, pension, social security, and any unemployment compensation benefits.
The child worksheet also considers other additional expenses for the child such as health insurance and child care. The court will as well analyze the parent’s employment history, their level of education, and the current job market to impute income to a parent that is intentionally unemployed.
It is important to understand how much child support percentage you are likely to get depending on the state you live in and your situation. You should note the child support worksheet and laws for each state differ and you will need an experienced lawyer to help guide you on the child support statutes that guide your state.
How is Child Support Paid?
There are different ways that child support collection can be done. After a child support enforcement case child support can either be paid through a state-issued debit card, child support check can be issued, bank transfer, or a direct deposit. Another way that child support can be retrieved is via wage garnishment. When the noncustodial parent that has been ordered to pay child support refuses to adhere to the rules or they are unable to pay child support there are consequences. The noncustodial parent can either be held in contempt for child support or they may face other possible criminal charges or both.
Can I Handle a Child Support Case by Myself?
If you want to handle child support issues in Colorado Springs divorce court by yourself you can since there are no child support rules that prohibit you from doing so. However, it is not advisable. Most of the time the non-custodial parent will have already hired a lawyer to represent them in court or during mediation and if you haven’t you will be at a disadvantage. You will have a challenging time in court and may have to bear the heavy financial burden of taking care of your children without too much help from the non-custodial parent.
Do You Have to go to Court?
Each jurisdiction approaches child support cases differently. There are states that will require that there be mandatory child custody negotiations before the child custody process proceeds to trial. There are times that mediation and conversations between the parents can help them agree on major decisions about child support and other issues revolving around the child’s well-being. A judge is likely going to favor a child support agreement that the couple has decided on. Even so, there are states where the judge whereby if the judge does not agree with the complex decision the parents have or if they do not see the agreement meeting child support standards they will not consistently agree with the custody decision.
It is much more favorable for parents to carry out child support calculations and come to an out-of-court agreement regarding a child custody plan. If situations such as; visitation schedules, physical custody, how much child support payment will be made, the mode of payment, and when the payment will be made can be decided on by the parent the case would be much easier. You will also be able to cut down on legal expenses if your case does not have to proceed to trial.
When the parents cannot come to any sort of child support agreement the case will proceed to court where the judge will be responsible for determining how much child support will be paid to the parent with legal custody.
Can You Get an Increment in Child Support?
The child support arrangement that you previously had can be revised and you can get an increment on what you were meant to receive. However, you will need to prove the reason behind your needing a child support modification. The evidence that you should provide can include documents showing changes in your income or doctor bills if you require additional medical assistance.
When Do Child Support Payments End?
Child Support payments will end for a child past age 19 or if the children for child support get emancipated. Child support payment can however continue past the age of 19 if a child is physically disabled or constantly requires medical assistance. Both parents need to cover expenses that include doctor bills and other extraordinary expenses. The parent will cover expenses for the child if the child is 19 and they are attending high school or a program that is equivalent to that up until graduation.
If at a particular time the child does not attend high school and they decide to enroll back to school they entitled to get support up until they graduate. However, support is not guaranteed if they are above 21 years of age.
Prepare a list of questions to ask your attorney so you can have as much information about your child support situation as possible and also to see if you will work with them. A qualified Colorado child support attorney will be able to give you enough information concerning your child support responsibility case based on the information that you are willing to provide and the time you spend with them at the office.
At Brighter Day℠ Law we provide resources for families seeking answers and will answer all questions pertaining to divorce and custody rights. We will give you an aggressive defense so you have a favorable child support agreement because we are concerned about you and your child’s best interest. Call us today at (719) 225-4443 to review your case with our attorneys.