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Costs for custody battle/child support enforcement Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 17th '16





After a lot of soul searching and advice from other people, I have decided to take my child's dad to court.  I get that this will vary from state to state and situation to situation, but if you were involved in a custody case that went before a judge, what did it end up costing you? I am planning to hire an attorney to help me through this process.  I just don't know how much money I should plan to spend.  I already know we won't agree in mediation and it will go before a judge.  I am filing for sole physical and legal custody, as well as child support.  I don't think he will fight for custody as he has a lengthy criminal record, substance abuse problems, and no money.  However, he will not agree to the supervised visitation that I am going to request. 
So, in short, what did your attorneys fees and court costs end up costing you?  I am definitely hiring a lawyer, as I don't even want to try to navigate this process on my own. 

TIA.

ETA:  I have been the primary caregiver for all 7 years of her life.  She has not spent any alone time with him and has not seen him much in the last 7 years.  He doesn't pay child support.  He is not on her BC because he never showed up to the hospital when she was born but he does acknowledge that LO is his... he's just a crappy dad.

OldSoulBeauty Due June 3 (boy); 2 kids; DipityDooBittyBopBop, WA, United States 4684 posts
Oct 17th '16

Initially I did it on my own, which cost me nothing because I was single they had waivers to fill out and didnt charge me a dime to file, serve, or see the judge. When things got a little more complicated the lawyer ended up costing each of us a couple thousand dollars.

Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 17th '16

Quoting OldSoulBeauty:
Initially I did it on my own, which cost me nothing because I was single they had waivers to fill out and didnt charge me a dime to file, serve, or see the judge. When things got a little more complicated the lawyer ended up costing each of us a couple thousand dollars.



Geez, that's what I'm expecting.  But I got scared because my co-worker told me it ended up costing him over $25k to get custody of his kids.
Did your attorney require the money up front?

OldSoulBeauty Due June 3 (boy); 2 kids; DipityDooBittyBopBop, WA, United States 4684 posts
Oct 17th '16

Quoting Sunshine0302:


Geez, that's what I'm expecting.  But I got scared because my co-worker told me it ended up costing him over $25k to get custody of his kids.
Did your attorney require the money up front?



If your case is complicated and you have a A+++ attorney I can see those fees. Plus it all depends on how many hours s/he spends on your case plus appearances in court and if the other party tries to fight you and drag it out. My attorney graciously accepts payment plans.

Something to consider is doing most of the filing etc yourself but use the attorney if you have questions about the paperwork and to make the final court appearance so it costs less.


EDIT: Make sure you request that the court split the legal fees 50/50.

Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 17th '16





Quoting OldSoulBeauty:


If your case is complicated and you have a A+++ attorney I can see those fees. Plus it all depends on how many hours s/he spends on your case plus appearances in court and if the other party tries to fight you and drag it out. My attorney graciously accepts payment plans.

Something to consider is doing most of the filing etc yourself but use the attorney if you have questions about the paperwork and to make the final court appearance so it costs less.


EDIT: Make sure you request that the court split the legal fees 50/50.



Wouldn't it end up costing him money as well to drag it out?  If that's the case, I don't see him dragging it out.  I'm so scared to file on my own.  I don't want to screw something up.  I didn't realize that I could even request legal fees be split.  Thank you.

*R [E]N%A/Y ¥ 2 kids; Kansas city, MO, United States 4704 posts
Oct 17th '16

Quoting Sunshine0302:



Wouldn't it end up costing him money as well to drag it out?  If that's the case, I don't see him dragging it out.  I'm so scared to file on my own.  I don't want to screw something up.  I didn't realize that I could even request legal fees be split.  Thank you.


Yeah it will, the more he is willing to spend the more it will cost you.  I'm about to go threw this too and I'm planning on using at least my whole tax return, so about $5000 for it.  Mine will be a motion to modify our patenting plan in our divorce though. 

OldSoulBeauty Due June 3 (boy); 2 kids; DipityDooBittyBopBop, WA, United States 4684 posts
Oct 17th '16

 




Quoting Sunshine0302:



Wouldn't it end up costing him money as well to drag it out?  If that's the case, I don't see him dragging it out.  I'm so scared to file on my own.  I don't want to screw something up.  I didn't realize that I could even request legal fees be split.  Thank you.



Yep! It certainly will. 

What I did when I filed my own is I saw a leagl aide (they are free) to check my paperwork before I filed. But if you dont feel comfortable dont do it.

Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 17th '16

Quoting Renay*:

Yeah it will, the more he is willing to spend the more it will cost you.  I'm about to go threw this too and I'm planning on using at least my whole tax return, so about $5000 for it.  Mine will be a motion to modify our patenting plan in our divorce though. 



I chose the wrong career path. I should have gone to law school!

Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 17th '16

Quoting OldSoulBeauty:
 


Yep! It certainly will. 

What I did when I filed my own is I saw a leagl aide (they are free) to check my paperwork before I filed. But if you dont feel comfortable dont do it.



I may go ahead and do that then.

*R [E]N%A/Y ¥ 2 kids; Kansas city, MO, United States 4704 posts
Oct 17th '16

Quoting Sunshine0302:


I chose the wrong career path. I should have gone to law school!


I thought that during my divorce,  his family is willing to spend a lot of money defending his lies.  I spent 10k, he spent twice that and had a way better lawyer.  5 k might not even be enough.  I'm hoping since he had no contact since March 2012, that it won't take much convincing,  but no idea what he will lie about. 

Consuela* United States 5029 posts
Oct 17th '16

We've spent 10k + 
My ex likes to fight me on everything even though he barely calls. His parents have money, so they can afford it.

NinjaSquirrel United States 8146 posts
Oct 18th '16

10k+

The battle was on.

Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 18th '16

Quoting Renay*:

I thought that during my divorce,  his family is willing to spend a lot of money defending his lies.  I spent 10k, he spent twice that and had a way better lawyer.  5 k might not even be enough.  I'm hoping since he had no contact since March 2012, that it won't take much convincing,  but no idea what he will lie about. 



Hopefully a judge will see through his lies.  Have your proof and evidence lined up.

Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 18th '16

Quoting Consuela*:
We've spent 10k + 
My ex likes to fight me on everything even though he barely calls. His parents have money, so they can afford it.



Shy  His parents need to make him man up and fight his own battles.  

Sunshine0302 1 child; Alexandria, VA, United States 4925 posts
Oct 18th '16

Quoting NinjaSquirrel :
10k+

The battle was on.



Geez.  How do normal people afford that?!  That is all paid up front?  The costs associated with this or so ridiculous!  It's like, whoever has the most money and the better attorney wins.  In my case that's a good thing because my BD is scum, but how many good parents get screwed because they can't afford that?