Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Lori Pace
As a single mother, you will face many challenges, and one of the toughest is gaining custody of your child. According to the United Census Bureau, a more significant percentage of moms are the custodial parents of their children.
Mom’s are usually more involved in the daily life of their children. They are the caretakers, specifically with activities like cooking, making sure homework is done, and many more hands-on daily tasks that a mom more commonly does than a dad.
A custody case can be very emotionally difficult for a child because the last thing they want to do is upset their parents. It is essential to keep this in mind during a custody battle. It may be helpful to have your child attend therapy during this time to make the process less traumatic for them.
During a custody case, the judge’s main aim is to ensure the parent that gets custody meets the child’s best interests. The judge wants to ensure that the parent requesting full custody can meet all the child’s physical and emotional needs, including medical care, emotional support, and parental guidance.
Types of Custody:
You have the right to live with your child.
You have the rights and obligation to make decisions about your child’s upbringing. This type of custody includes medical care, education, etc.
Includes sole physical or sole legal and is usually awarded to a parent when the other parent is unfit.
This custody includes joint physical and legal custody. Therefore, this form of custody goes to parents who both spend a significant amount of time with their children and live close to each other. Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to be involved in the decisions made about their child’s upbringing.
Whether you are on good terms with your ex-partner, it is always best to have legal representation. Therefore ensuring your child’s best interests are always put first. Legal representation will ensure this and make all the difference in a custody case.
3 Benefits of hiring a Child Custody Lawyer
1. Custody Cases are Legally Complex
Custody cases are very complex, so it is in your best interest to get a custody lawyer. Having a custody lawyer represent you ensures that you meet all the court’s requirements. The lawyer has more legal expertise and negotiating experience and is aware of the courtroom procedures.
The lawyer will help you leverage your circumstance to benefit you. Therefore, making sure they make the right decisions.
2. Less Time Consuming and Reduces Stress
Having your custody lawyer handle your case will relieve some stress that you would undoubtedly experience during this already complicated process. You will have peace of mind with the knowledge that someone with experience will be handling your case.
The custody lawyer will make sure that everything is in order, and they may resolve your case quicker.
3. Your Ex-Partner May Have Legal Representation
If your ex-partner has their custody lawyer to represent them in the case, you will not be at a disadvantage because you will have your legal representation. On the other hand, if you did not have a custody lawyer and your partner does, this could be a big mistake that may negatively affect you and your child.
After considering the benefits, it is evident that a custody lawyer is essential when handling your child’s custody case. Still, you are probably thinking, ‘how in the world am I going to afford a lawyer? Thankfully, there are many options to get free child custody lawyers for mothers.
Different Options of Free Child Custody Lawyers for Mothers
Child Custody Legal Aid
Child custody legal aid is available in every state. They are not-for-profit legal agencies that provide free legal help to people who cannot hire a lawyer. Legal aid agencies help people with significantly lower income statuses. Still, a few agencies are not as strict about income statuses.
Legal aid lawyers have the same qualifications as other lawyers, and all the information said to them will remain confidential. One of the benefits of finding a legal aid custody lawyer to represent you is that they will help justify your low-income status in your case. Visit your local legal aid agency if you believe this is the best option for you.
Free Legal Advice Family Law
Some agencies will help you with your case even if you cannot pay for a lawyer. However, they may not have the facilities to represent you in court. Still, they will help you prepare for your case, advise you on what to say, and conduct yourself in court, which will help you with your chances of being awarded custody.
Many government agencies will help you with a child custody issue; these agencies will work for free for parents with low-income backgrounds.
Agencies Providing Free Legal Services
Many non-profit organizations will help you with your custody case, like Family Law, giving you the information you need about your case. However, Family Law is not the only agency if you are interested in a service similar to this. All it takes is a little research to find a more suitable organization that will give you the answers that you need.
Websites to Find Free Child Custody Lawyers for Mothers
- LawHelp.org: will help you find free legal aid programs in your community.
- Legal Services Corporation: helps find legal aid for people with a low-income background.
- Free Legal Answers: if you qualify for their program and have a low-income status, you can submit legal questions for free to the American Bar Association. However, a volunteer will answer your questions.
Factors to Consider Before Applying for Child Custody
Before applying for custody for your child as a mother, you need to keep the following in mind:
- Make sure to have a plan ready for your child. This plan needs to include information about what school you will send them to, how you will pay for their expenses, their living environment, and many more factors.
- It is essential to speak to your child and ask them what they want before moving ahead with a custody case.
- The living environment you provide for your child needs to be safe and stable. There should be no drugs, abuse, or anything that could harm your child emotionally or physically in their living environment.
- Be cautious of how you conduct yourself on social media. It is a public space, and they can use it against you.
- Remain civil with your ex-partner, don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
- If your ex-partner makes more money than you do, they could pay for better representation. It would help if you prepared well.
- If you are not awarded custody at first, DON’T GIVE UP! You can attest to custody in the future.