The question of the day is do you need a lawyer for child custody and support issues in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Technically, the answer is no. If you want to represent yourself, you can as a “pro se” litigant. However, most of the time, your interests and that of your child(ren) will be best served by having an attorney to guide you through the process and advocate for you.  Here’s why.

First and foremost, if your ex has hired an attorney to represent him or her, you should never try and handle your case by yourself. An attorney has years of training and experience and understands the nuances of the law. Unless you are able to devote all your time educating yourself on the law and legal process, your chances of successfully defending against an experienced attorney are slim.

In some situations, clients prefer to try and negotiate directly with the other party. Even if you are able to have productive discussions, you should have an attorney with whom you can consult to ensure the terms you negotiate are fair to you.

Child custody and support cases tend to be complicated. This is due to the many issues involved including custody, parenting time, support, education, medical and other topics that have to be addressed during the case. Some issues have multiple components that complicate the process further. For example, custody technically has two components. There is physical custody (which parent the child is with physically) and legal custody (the ability of the parents to  make important decisions in the life of your child). Although determining the best schedule of physical custody is challenging, issues of legal custody can make the situation even more complicated. Physical and legal custody issues are often intertwined and can make negotiating a suitable agreement difficult.

 Child support makes matters even more complicated. Couples often disagree on the amount of money they should pay and receive in regards to child support. Typically, the party who is paying child support wants the figure to be as low as possible. That’s not to say they don’t want to spend money on their children.

It can be more along the line that they would rather control the situation. On the other hand, the party who is receiving the child support wants the figure to be as high as possible. You owe it to your child or children to have an attorney represent their best interests instead of basing their financial situation off of emotions.

If you need help with any child custody and support issues or any family law topic, please contact Zawada Family Law today. Brynn Zawada, an expert in family law, delivers the best results for her clients. She is an accomplished litigator with extensive experience representing individuals in the various district and probate courts across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Attorney Zawada’s primary focus is on complex family law matters including divorce, custody, removal, alimony, and guardianship and grandparent visitation issues.

Brynn Zawada is responsive to the fact that family issues are both complex and emotionally taxing. That is why she strives hard to guide her clients through the process as effectively and efficiently as possible while also minimizing the emotional toll on her clients.