Allegations of child abuse have to be taken seriously.
Many parents find themselves in need of legal guidance when facing allegations of child abuse or neglect. Often, the sooner you involve an attorney, the more options you will have. But before hiring a child abuse attorney, you should feel out their experience and approach.
To make sure you find an attorney who can meet your needs, speak with a few, and ask the following questions.
How much experience do you have handling child abuse cases?
Every child abuse case is different. Find out how much relevant experience the attorney has handling child protective hearings as this type of experience is most valuable.
What options do I have for handling my case?
An experienced attorney who has handled child abuse cases like your own will be able to give you a general idea of your options. In some cases, you can work with child protective services to keep the matter out of court. In others, you will need to prepare a defense for litigation.
What will your services cost?
The cost for a child abuse defense attorney can vary based on experience and location. Ask about billing structure (i.e. flat fee or hourly) and what factors can make your case more expensive. It’s important to find an attorney whom you can afford as child abuse cases can be lengthy and complex.
Have you worked with the court in my county/state?
If you were facing child abuse allegations, it’s a good idea to ask the attorney if he or she has handled many cases in that county. Also, ask whether he or she has good working relationships with the court, including the judge and the opposing party. A good working relationship does not mean they are allies or friends, but rather they respect each other as professionals. The more respect your attorney has, the better an advocate he or she can be.
How much experience do you have with appeals?
Parents have a right to appeal certain decisions in their cases. But appeals cases have a notoriously low success rate. Thus, if you want the best chance at an appeal, you should find a child abuse attorney who has handled many appeals cases.