How much does a North Carolina child custody lawyer cost?

north carolina child custody lawyer cost
The average North Carolina case cost for child custody lawyer is between $2,500 to $5,000. Given that both parties cooperate and are ready for mutual settlement over the legal issues. In complex and continuous ongoing cases where the parties have not agreed upon or are not ready to compromise the issue of custody, goes on a trail, depositions, filing motions, excessive court time, hiring experts which can increase the cost up to $5,000 to $40,000 or more.

Child Custody Issues in North Carolina

If you are being divorced with your spouse and have kids, the situation of child’s custody may arise. The most concerning factor here remains the cost of the lawyer in a child custody case. If you are the one confused with the same, then this article might help you. There are lots of things to be considered when it comes to child custody. The judges would have to look for the best interest of your child while considering a variety of factors to determine the custody. The first step for the parties is to look for family law experienced attorneys. The custody varies of two types i.e joint or sole custody. This means either both the parents will have the right to raise their children or only the single parent. The fees and rates can vary with the situation.

What Can a Child Custody Lawyer Do?

In child custody cases, the court gives a right to the divorced parents for seeking custody of the child. The one with the custody will have the rights to take all the major decisions of the child. This right can be accessed by biological parents of the child, no matter whether they remarried or not. The court analyzes various factors and grants custody to the parent who is most fit for the child. Make sure you consult with a well-qualified attorney who specializes in child custody to ensure your rights are protected. We at Culbertson and Associates hold 60+ years of combined experience in the field of family law and know the entire North Carolina legal process hence we ensure every stage of the child custody case goes smoothly and our clients get the desired results.

How Much Does it Cost to File for Child Custody?

To file a case you need to pay a filing fee which is set by your local district clerk’s office of the country where you are planning to file a case for your child’s custody. This normally ranges from $200 to $400. However, if you are incompatible to pay the fees then you can fill the waivers form at the district clerk’s office and check whether if you qualify for it or not. If you cannot afford the filing costs, there are waivers at the district clerk’s office that you may fill out to see if you qualify for a fee waiver. The cost also varies due to continuous cases where parties are unable to do a settlement.
  • Some attorneys charge the consultation fee where the parties decide if the attorneys will take their case or not. However, some attorney may charge this fee while some may not.
  • The attorney may ask for the portion of the total fee as a referral fee if he refers the parties to other attorneys.
  • Some attorneys charge a flat fee which is considered for straightforward and simple cases with fixed and specified amount whereas some charge hourly fee. They may charge separately for legal research and court appearance too.
  • Most lawyers demand retainers I.e fees to be paid as a down payment. If this amount gets exhausted, the party need to add more into it but if the money is left they may return it in the last. However many lawyers have non-refundable policies too.

Factors which Impact the Cost of a Child Custody Lawyer

In the case of a child’s custody, a larger portion of expenses are derived from attorney’s fee but still, the other factors determine the overall expense of the case. The factors which impact the cost of a child custody lawyer are:
  • North Carolina family law attorney fees generally vary from $100 to $500 per hour. The factors like attorney’s credentials and location have a major role to play in the actual rate. Each attorney sets their fee which is considered by their experience, abilities, and established a reputation. The fees also depend on the education of the attorney from where he got graduated.
  • The lawyer may also charge the parties for extra official works which include copying and faxing documents in addition to paralegal services, travel expenses, and more.
  • Other miscellaneous expenses may include court filing fees, paper works, court reporter fees, and expert witness fees.
  • If the party is working with a mediator, the expense may vary from approximately $100 to $300 per hour.
  • Some cases need special assistance of an expert or child psychologist while in many cases in mandatory to get through the evaluation.
  • Custody evaluations include tests, interviews, and professional observations; which can vary from $1,500 to $6,000.

Modification Fee for Child Custody

The cost of modification in child custody depends on numerous factors. However, if both parents mutually agree for the modification, it may cost a little. In many cases filing fee for a motion to modify an existing child custody order may be free but if the motion is contested it may increase the expense.

Who Pays the Attorney Fees in a Child Custody Case?

In the matter of child custody, both the parties are liable to pay their own fee. But if the court finds disparity in the financial status of either or both the parties the judge may determine to pay a reasonable attorney fee.