I’m a Dad and I’m getting divorced. I want as much time as possible with my children. Should I hire a “Father’s Rights” Lawyer?
Not for that reason alone. The whole idea of a Father’s Rights attorney is a very clever marketing ploy. Generally speaking, men have greater financial resources than women and those law firms appeal to the clients who are better able to pay.
Many of the most-heavily advertised Father’s Rights firm require that a minimum retainer be on file at all times, and some even require that the client give permission for their credit card to be charged for the balance due as often as once a week. Isn’t it better to have a business relationship with your attorney like you do with Laclede Gas: they send you a bill and within ten days you pay it?
The greatest disservice that an attorney can do for a client or a potential client is to tell them what they want to hear. In reality, not every father (or mother) has a credible case for sole or joint custody of his (or her) children. Many judges start from the position that the children should spend equal time with each parent and convincing the judge to grant more time with you will never be done just because you are the father, despite what the advertising from the self-proclaimed father’s rights law firms implies.
The biggest Father’s Rights firm in St. Louis started out promoting itself as the Christian law firm. Apparently representing fathers is more lucrative.
It is not uncommon for father’s rights attorneys to push a case to trial and then blame the judge for a “bad” result.
Rather than choosing a family law attorney based on their self-branding, fathers should chose an attorney with whom they feel comfortable, who knows the law and the judge and who offers a plan to try to get your desired result that is based on emphasizing your strengths and improving or minimizing your weaknesses. Presenting an effective case for custody is unrelated to the gender of the parent.
Fathers selecting a divorce attorney should follow the old Latin adage of Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware.