Why Can’t I Do My Child Custody Matter Myself?

Even though more and more court cases are being settled out of court, not every case can be settled before trial. Custody cases often fall into this category because parents have very definite versions of what they believe is best for the children. Parents will often fight as hard as they can to make sure that any custody or visitation order entered by the court reflects what they believe is best for the parties’ children. When the parties have attorneys, it can become an expensive prospect, and there can be a strong temptation to try to do a custody battle alone to try to cut costs. There are many reasons why this is not a good idea.

First, if the other parent has an attorney, it is essential that you also have an attorney. Attorneys spend years obtaining experience and special training for the express purpose of putting forth the best and most convincing case. Moreover, attorneys are familiar with the special and highly technical rules involved with presenting a case, such as the rules of evidence. Without the same training and experience, it will be a relatively easy task for the other parent’s attorney to present a much better case in front of the judge and to obtain a favorable judgment for his or her client.

Second, your attorney understands the potential issues and pitfalls in getting a custody order completed. This includes not only what paperwork must be completed and how, but also potential issues that self-represented litigants may not have the expertise to identify. An attorney will help you craft a proposed or final custody order that is sufficiently specific to help keep you from having to return to court over disagreements involving vague provisions in an order.

Finally, your attorney understands the law. Your attorney can help you understand what is a possibility and what is not permitted in your custody case. This becomes especially apparent with child support issues, as an attorney will understand how to complete a child support calculation, how to get a wage assignment order entered, and what costs and expenses are supposed to be covered by child support payments.

Although it seems like opting to represent yourself can save you money, it ultimately could cost you more than the original case would have. Getting an attorney will help you get the order done right the first time to make sure your case is not delayed and also that you will not end up quickly back in court to resolve disputes over unfavorable or poorly drafted provisions.

You need an to help you with your custody case, even if it is an amicable split. Contact us today at (732) 529-6937 to talk about solutions for your child and your family

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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