3 Critical Ways a Family Law Attorney Can Help Your Child

If a divorce is tearing your life apart, you must see to it that your children survive the process with the necessary emotional health, financial support, and physical safety. A family law attorney can provide vital assistance to help you do just that. Here are three of the ways a family law firm can look out for your kids' best interests.

1. Consider Special Needs

Children with a mental or physical disability have special needs that add a whole extra layer of complexity to divorce and custody cases. Family attorneys can help you obtain critical child support if your little one's condition will create significant long-term financial issues.

In some cases, one parent may argue that the child's specific health condition doesn't call for extra child support. Whichever side of the fence you're on, your family attorney can help by:

  • Advising you on what kinds of medical records, doctor testimonials, school counselor reports and other professional evaluations you need to collect and submit to the court.
  • Helping you figure out how to estimate the various expenses you are likely to collect as you raise the child.
  • Calling for a review of the child's condition if there is a chance that he has improved by the time of his 18th birthday, which may result in modification of the payment schedule.

2. Recommend a Guardian

When strife and anger dominate the home of a divorcing couple, children are often caught in the emotional crossfire. No matter how hard you try to insulate your child from arguments, a chemically-dependent spouse, or even possible abuse from that spouse, the safest move may be to have a guardian appointed until a court of law can settle custody. A family lawyer can facilitate that process. 

Not all guardians are created equal, and some of them aren't equipped to handle high-conflict family situations—especially in small towns where the selection of available guardians may be limited. Your family law firm can help recommend specific guardians with the proper qualifications.

Your family attorney can schedule a meeting with a the guardian so you can submit any and all information you have that establishes your fitness (or the other parent's lack of fitness) to receive custody. You may be asked to provide such verifiable proof as Child Protective Services histories, police charges, and mental/emotional health data.

3. Enforcing Court Orders

Once you've obtained custody or child support, you're entitled to breathe a sigh of relief—but the court order establishing those conditions is worth nothing if it isn't enforced.

If the other parent simply decides not to bother sending the checks, for instance, your child may not receive the financial support necessary for a safe and healthy life—especially if special needs are involved.

Your family lawyer can respond by filing for contempt of court, wage garnishment, driver's license of other license suspensions, or collection of back child support through the IRS.

As you can see, a skilled family law firm such as Larson, Latham, Huettl Attorneys can be your child's best friend when divorce proceedings threaten his well being. The sooner you align yourself with this kind of professional, the sooner you can help ensure a happier future for your kids.