How to Choose the Best Child Custody Lawyer for You: A Guide

Did you know that 86 percent of custody disputes in which both parents have lawyers reach a settlement? When only one parent has a custody lawyer, the numbers decrease to 63 percent.

If you are going through a custody battle, you need representation. But how can you choose the best child custody lawyer to fight for you?

Let us look at some of the guidelines you want to remember when making this decision in Denver, Colorado, or in Los Angeles, California.

Best Child Custody Lawyer: Similar Case Experience

The lawyer you choose has to be an expert in family law and child custody. Child custody cases are a very specific branch of family law and you need someone who has years of providing this help to families.

When hiring a child custody lawyer, you have to be certain they have dealt successfully with similar situations. If your case will be complex and high-conflict, does the lawyer have the right experience to handle it? Will there be an interstate element or a jurisdiction concern?

You want them to specialize in custody cases. All custody lawyers practice family law, but not all family law attorneys practice custody law. Look to see what their specialties are before making a choice.

Knowledge of Jurisdiction Laws

Every state has different laws and regulations pertaining to child custody. To be sure that the custody lawyer is the right one to hire, they must have knowledge of the jurisdiction laws in the states where the case will take place.

If the case will have an interstate element, check that the lawyer has knowledge of both jurisdictions at play.

Local Lawyer

Choosing a local lawyer not only ensures the person will have the knowledge you need them to have about custody law in Colorado, but it will also offer another benefit: accessibility.

You need to be able to speak with your custody lawyer in person. If you need to meet, you should be able to do so without having to travel a long distance. A local lawyer is also much easier to vet and you are more likely to benefit from a recommendation from a friend or family member who lives in your area.

Attorneys that have worked in a particular area for a long time will also have established rapport with courthouse staff or certain judges, which is always beneficial.

Communication Skills

You should be able to communicate with your lawyer easily and clearly. Whether you prefer email, phone calls, or in-person visits, the lawyer has to be ready to accommodate you.

The custody lawyer also needs to be able to communicate effectively on your behalf with the opposing party. This can include your spouse, judges, the opposing lawyer, and more. They need to also be able to communicate with people who do not work in family law, like accountants.

When hiring an attorney, you have to remember you will be spending a lot of time with them. You have to feel comfortable discussing the case with them and you must have confidence in their skills.

You will be facing a stressful level of conflict already. Do not add tension with your lawyer to that.

Financial Consideration

Hiring a divorce lawyer or a custody lawyer does not come cheaply. Attorney fees can vary depending on numerous factors, including the popularity of the lawyer, size of the firm, success rates, and much more.

Ask how the lawyer handles billing and what you will be expected to pay. Compare these fees with that of other attorneys to find the one that works best for your own financial circumstances.

There are instances when you may be able to apply for pro bono representation, which involves a court-appointed judge, but this will mean you do not get a chance to choose the attorney yourself.

References and Reviews

The attorney may look good on paper, but what experiences have previous clients had? You can ask the attorney directly for references and you can also do an online search to see if there are reviews.

You need to ensure the lawyer you choose has a clean disciplinary record and that the majority of their previous clients were satisfied with their services. You can check with the state bar to see if the attorney is in good standing and if their licenses are in order and valid. Doing this kind of work can ensure you do not end up with a disreputable attorney.


Going through a divorce, a child custody battle, or any other family law dispute is an emotional and highly-charged situation. Your lawyer has to understand that and know just how important what you are going through is.

A lawyer is not a therapist but they have to work to offer practical solutions for the issues you are having and they have to do so in a way that is compassionate and understanding.

Set Up a Meeting

Before you make a decision on a child custody lawyer, you have to meet them in person. It is not enough to speak with them over the phone. In person, you can get a sense of how the lawyer works and you can see if their workspace is professional.

Before you go to this meeting, prepare a list of questions you may have about them, their background, and how they will tackle your case.

Get Expert and Compassionate Help

If you are looking for the best child custody lawyer in Colorado or California, you can turn to us at Duncan Family Law. We have years of experience which we are ready to put to work for you.

Contact us now for a free consultation!