Normally you will need to hire an attorney skilled in custody matter to assist you. Once the attorney is hired he/she will draft documents to file with the court letting the court know you are asking for custody or to change custody. The other parent will be notified as well. Eventually, absent an agreement being reached between the parents, a court hearing will be held and the court will decide the custody issue.
If the parties are unable to agree on their custody arrangement then the court will make that determination. There are a myriad of factors the court considers, including income, emotional stability, drug or alcohol abuse, primary caretaker during the marriage, and many other factors. The overriding consideration for the court is to decide what is in the best interest of the child(ren).
Yes. Many times there is a change subsequent to the divorce or the last time the parties were in court. Is this change enough to change custody? That is determined on a case by case basis and we can go over this with you during the initial consultation.
Every lawyer is entitled to set their fees based on several factors – experience of the attorney in that particular field; the market in their locale; current caseload; the complexity of the case that they are possibly being hired on; and other factors. Our firm offers two different types of fees, flat fee and hourly. Both usually require a retainer of $1,500 to $2,500 in order to retain us and then there is some type of payment plan beyond that. We discuss fees and answer any questions you have about them during the initial consultation.